Mateoh Eggleton: Boy, 6, whose stem cells were left at US airport, undergoes ‘lifesaving’ transplant

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA: A six-year-old boy has undergone potentially life-saving surgery. Mateoh Eggleton, from Gold Coast, Queensland, underwent a stem cell transplant after the procedure was delayed when his cells were accidentally left on the tarmac at a US airport on Monday March 13. The boy was diagnosed in 2019 with a rare genetic condition called chronic granulomatous disease, which prevents his white blood cells from protecting him from certain microorganisms.

His health issues were first resolved with a first transplant in 2020, but he was later diagnosed with an even rarer and life-threatening condition, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, which can even lead to kidney failure. Therefore, this transplant was seen as the start of a second chance for him to resume a normal life, and he would stay in hospital for 90 days until he fully recovered, 7News reported.

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“Thanks to my donor”

After his surgery, Mateoh expressed his gratitude to the donor, and his mother Shalyn said there was still a long way to go, reports 7News. “Thank you to my donor,” Mateoh said moments after the transplant, which didn’t require him to go under general anesthesia. “I’m a bit relieved, but we still have a long way to go to get Mateoh back,” his mother Shalyn Eggleton said.

Eggleton said it will take doctors at least two weeks to determine whether or not the operation was successful, noting that they are preparing for the worst. “There is a possible risk of pneumonia,” she said. “Doctors have let us know that we need to be ready for intensive care and ventilators.” While Mateoh was eventually able to find a donor, it was difficult for him to obtain the vital cells, according to DailyMail.

Transplant will be Mateoh’s toughest battle

The patient’s family were shocked when the cells were left at a US airport last month on their way to Brisbane before the transplant traveled to Australia. The small child spent time in and out of the intensive care unit for his first transplant for a granulomatous disease. This transplant will be Mateoh’s toughest battle, his mother Shalyn told the Today Show on Monday, DailyMail reports.

“It’s our last treatment option,” Ms Eggleton told the Today Show. “Mateoh is a little nervous as you would be, this will be our most difficult (step). This transplant being our last option on trial, we actually don’t know if it will take or not,” he said. she declared. “We don’t know how sick Mateoh is going to get. We just don’t know how it’s going to be and that’s where I’m most nervous right now,” she added.

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