THE PARENTS of an 18-month-old girl who died of a rare immune disorder are preparing to embark on a fundraising run for the unit that cared for her.
Aiesha Hodgson died last November as she was receiving a bone marrow transplant at the Great North Children’s Hospital at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
She was born on April 11, 2012, at the Friarage Hospital to parents Caroline and Michael Hodgson.
But shortly after her birth, health workers became concerned that Aiesha was losing weight.
After undergoing tests at the Friarage and Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital, where she had to be fed intravenously, she was referred to specialists at the RVI.
After months of testing, they diagnosed her with a rare form of immune disregulation, which caused her immune system to attack her own body.
The only option was a bone marrow transplant.
Michael Hodgson, a joiner from Northallerton, said: “She was there four months while they tried to figure out what was wrong with her. But an immune specialist had a look at her results and came back with this immune dysfunction.
“They decided a bone marrow transplant was the best option to cure her.”
But sadly, Aiesha did not respond well to pre-operation chemotherapy or the bone marrow transplant and died on November 3.
Now her parents are due to take part in the Great North Run, to raise funds for the Bubble Foundation, which supports the work of the Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit where Aiesha was treated.
The unit provides a totally sterile environment for babies and children undergoing bone marrow transplants, or with severe immune deficiencies.
During his daughter’s long hospital stays, Mr Hodgson stayed at home to look after his 14-year-old and 13-year-old step daughters and their four-year-old daughter and to continue earning a living.
He said: “My wife virtually lived at the unit. Aiesha was hooked up to a central line constantly to get her some nutrition. But the unit were always trying to get us home to have some family time. They knew we lived 60 to 70 miles away.
“Eventually we were allowed home with a machine to feed her during the night so we could go off during the day and do normal things as a family.
“The care and nurses were great.”
Mr and Mrs Hodgson will also be joined with three other runners raising funds for the Bubble Foundation; Emily Kilcoyne, Vikki Holmes and Catherine Llewellyn.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the fundraising can visit Aiesha’s Angels on Facebook or sponsor them at; www.justgiving.com/aieshas-angels