British six-year-old to get life-changing treatment from award-winning Docs in Warsaw
A six-year-old girl from the UK is travelling to Poland for life-altering medical treatment to cure her of a rare disease.
Hallie Campbell, from Wigan, northwest England, suffers from a rare condition known as Aromatic Acid Decarboxlyse (AADC), an inherited disorder that affects the way signals are passed between certain cells in the nervous system.
Appearing in the first year of life, it prevents sufferers from talking, walking and sitting up.
Hailie is one of 130 people worldwide with the condition and the only female in the UK.
Because the treatment isn’t available on Britain’s National Health Service, the girl’s parents started a crowd-funding campaign and have now raised the 70,000 GBP needed to have the operation at the clinic in the Polish capital.
Professor Mirosław Ząbek and his team at Bródnowski Hospital in Warsaw have developed a pioneering technique to treat the problem, recently winning the Golden Scalpel for their innovation.
The treatment has already been administered to a number of international visitors successfully and Professor Ząbek, head of the Neurosurgery Clinic at Bródnowski Hospital, expects more patients to follow.
He said: "Gene therapy can help children who suffer from a very rare genetic deficit of dopamine and serotonin.
“Most of them die and only a few live up to 16 years of age. In Poland, only two cases of this disease have been diagnosed.
“The children have already been operated on and their life has begun again. This information has gone into the world and medical tourism to Poland is already beginning.
“The therapy involves the transfer of the gene encoding the production of the enzyme needed to the brain using the adenovirus, which allows the formation of dopamine and serotonin.”
After raising the money, Hailie’s mother Lucy Campbell posted on Facebook: “Thank you all so much for all your kind words, love and support and for helping us to reach our target!
“I can’t wait to see Hallie’s life-changing progress after surgery!
“Thank you so much for giving her this opportunity. Our hearts are bursting with gratitude.”