Two new stem cell donors found for Lochgelly tot

Ava Stark
Ava Stark

A three-year-old Lochgelly girl is preparing for lifesaving surgery next week after two new stem cell donors were found following a huge recruitment drive.

Ava Stark is undergoing chemotherapy in Glasgow in advance of the operation which is expected to take place next Wednesday or Thursday.

Ava at Lochgelly fire station with the red watch. Pic by David Wardle

Ava at Lochgelly fire station with the red watch. Pic by David Wardle

And the family is keeping its fingers firmly crossed after two previous donor attempts failed at the last minute.

Following the last attempt Ava’s mum Marie launched an appeal which brought almost 70,000 new potential donors.

The campaign was also taken on by the local fire station in Lochgelly which held a recruitment drive last weekend.

Ava suffers from a rare form of inherited bone marrow failure, which prevents her from producing blood cells.

Without a transplant the condition is fatal, and the odds of finding a donor were just one in 25 million.

However, with two new people identified as being a perfect match for the toddler, Marie is hopeful that this time the operation to help save her daughter’s life will go ahead.

She said: “On Friday my phone rang and it was the hospital to say they had done all the tests and everything that they needed to do and that they had found two donors who were ready for Ava.

“I told them after the last time that I didn’t want to know that they had found a match until the very last minute in case it fell through.

“I didn’t want to get my hopes up in case the same thing happened again, but these two are both bone marrow donors and they’re new on the registry because they weren’t there when we were looking for one before.”

To find out how you can save a life go to www.anthonynolan.org/sfrs.