A DESPERATE father has made a heartfelt plea to Observer readers to come forward and help save the life of his two-year-old daughter who urgently needs a bone marrow transplant.
Nick Pugh said he and his wife, Yupa, were left devastated when their daughter, Tia, was diagnosed with two rare illnesses on New Year’s Eve.
She is believed to be the only person in the world to have STAT1 deficiency and tuberculosis-like illness called mycobacterium malmoense at the same time.
Medics say the best chance of curing Tia is to have a bone marrow transplant, but as her mother, Yupa, is Thai with Cambodian heritage and Nick is British it means it will be much harder to find her a genetic match.
However, Nick, who lives on Bath Road, is still holding out hope that a match can be found and he has called on the people of Worcester to sign up to the donor register.
“Tia is our darling little daughter and it is heart-breaking to watch her suffer like this,” he said. “Now the doctors have identified what is wrong we can at last get moving on finding a cure.
“But we have to be quick, and that cure is out of our hands until we can find a match. All I can say to the people out there is please help us however you can – by signing up to the register or setting up a recruitment event in your area.
“Think how you would feel if it was your daughter, or your son, and you needed a stranger to help them survive.”
Nick said doctors have tried many different medicines to help Tia, who has struggled to develop in a similar way to healthy children of her age, while nurses visit their home everyday to care for her. Tia’s mum Yupa has also been trained to administer the antibiotics herself at home.
Henny Braund, chief executive of UK charity Anthony Nolan, which manages the bone marrow register, said it was especially important that more people of South East Asian and mixed-Asian heritage sign up as he felt they would provide the best chances of being a suitable match.
To join the bone marrow register visit www.anthonynolan.org, while people are also being urged to visit Tai’s dedicated Facebook page.