Shock illness leaves brave Fife youngster waiting for donor to be found

Fife youngster 10-year-old Jay Dalrymple with his mum Lynn McDuff. (Pic George McLuskie).
Fife youngster 10-year-old Jay Dalrymple with his mum Lynn McDuff. (Pic George McLuskie).

A Kirkcaldy mum has spoke of her anguish after what was initially thought to be a cold, instead turned into an agonising search for a donor that will save her son’s life.

Just four months ago Lynn McDuff received a call from the local primary school informing her that her 10-year-old son Jay Dalrymple was feeling unwell.

Thinking it was nothing more than the usual children’s sniffles and illness, common in youngsters at this time of year, Jay was sent home.

Since then her family’s life has been put on hold after doctors discovered that Jay was in fact suffering from Aplastic Anemia, a life threatening and extremely rare blood disorder that affects just 120 people a year world wide.

It resulted in Christmas being cancelled as Jay spent the next four weeks in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. Since then they have had to endure regular trips back for blood transfusions to support Jay’s immune system.

“It’s every parent’s nightmare, it’s turned our lives upside down,” Lynn told the Fife Free Press.

“Until December Jay has never been sick but then you have doctors informing you that he is seriously ill and will need a bone marrow transplant if he is to get better.”

Lynn, Jay and the rest of the family, now endure the daily agony of waiting for the telephone to ring with the news that a matching donor has been found.

“It’s tough but we just try to retain as normal a life as possible for Jay given the circumstances and hope that either a match can be found, or that the two or three transfusions per week he is currently undergoing will help improve his health,” Lynn explained.

“We are now just look forwards to a brighter future when this is all over, setting ourselves targets and goals to get Jay through his journey.”

Doctors treating Jay have told Lynn a suitable match will “almost certainly” be found, its now just a case of how soon.

“We just have to carry on for as long as it takes. We keep telling ourselves that we will get through this,” said Lynn.

“Jay’s been such a little hero taking all of this in his stride. He’s never once complained and certainly braver than me.”