Two-year-old Jasper has been a fighter from the moment he took his first breath. Diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) a few months after birth, Jasper was basically born without an immune system, having no T or NK cells, making him extremely vulnerable to any and all infections.
After his diagnosis, Jasper was put into immediate isolation and had a central line placed into his neck to supply him with antibiotics, anti-fungal and antiviral medications along with TPN (total parenteral nutrition) to help build up his body weight – he’d gone from being a baby in the 97th percentile to slipping off the chart backwards into the lower third.
After seven days of conditioning (chemotherapy), Jasper underwent a Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant to cure him from his condition. This extremely risky procedure was made even more problematic by the fact that Jasper’s little body was riddled with viruses that it could not heal itself from, along with severe fungal and bacterial infections in his lungs.
Jasper had his transplant on the 9th of March 2017, at the age of 9.5 months, receiving his donation from a man in Germany.
“It has been an incredibly rough road filled with many scary infections, a week in ICU and only being given a 50% chance of survival heading into treatment,” Jasper’s mum Sarah says. “His treating team of oncologists, haematologists, immunologists, respiratory specialists and all of the nurses and their assistants along with the pain treatment team, the PICU team that we spent some time with have all done an incredible job.”
“Jasper is now fighting fit and into everything. He’s no longer on meds and only needs checks every couple of months at the moment.”
Sarah’s source of strength has been the support of family and friends. “The quote that a friend sent me gave me the reminder I needed each day; it was simply: ‘Never give up. Never give in.’
“The advice I would give other parents would be to accept the help, take the hand when it’s offered. My biggest struggle is seeing our friends continuing their ﬁght, and some losing their ﬁght, and not being able to absorb any of their pain or grief.”
You can purchase prints of Jasper’s artwork here – all proceeds help us to support more kids like Jasper.
| Lisa Shearon