Zac’s on the mend thanks to German donor

AT just 22 months old, and after a lifetime of suffering, Zac Robinson has finally received a bone marrow transplant for his tiny body.

Zac has a rare immune deficiency, Hyper IgM Syndrome, which doesn’t allow his little body to fight infections.

His mother Karen Robinson said it can make him so sick that he often ends up in hospital.

However life for Zac changed 50 days ago when a bone marrow donor was found in Germany.

“All we know is it was a German woman aged around 30,” she said.

And it is this unknown stranger, half a world away who has changed the life of Zac.

“It looks like at the moment he will be cured which means he won’t have to come into the hospital every three weeks,” Mrs Robinson said.

“They say eventually his condition would have been terminal so it has really saved his life.”

Initial tests 30 days after the transplant have showed a high amount of “donor cells” in his body.

“They’ve done the initial testing and that’s come back really positive,” she said.

“His white cell count is 98 per cent donor and that’s what they want.”

Mrs Robinson said Zac was not quite “out of the woods yet” and it will take a test 90 days after the transplant to confirm if his body has successfully accepted the new bone marrow.

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead has been home for Zac since early October however Mrs Robinson said she hoped it will not be for too much longer.

“We hope to be out of hospital before Christmas as long as they can get him back on his feeds and we’ll stay at Ronald McDonald House [in Sydney],” she said.

Life has been a struggle for Zac, his parents Karen and Dean Robinson and siblings Shannon, 9, and Will, 5 since he was first diagnosed with the immune deficiency at just 11 months old.

Mr and Mrs Robinson have taken extended leave from their workplaces to be with Zac, while his siblings have stayed in Orange with their grandparents to continue their schooling.

Mrs Robinson also wanted to thank the Orange community for their support since Zac’s diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

“It’s just taken the pressure off us financially ... we didn’t expect anything like that,” she said.

“Our family support has been amazing and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

nadine.morton@

fairfaxmedia.com.au

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