Baby Nina back home after pioneering gene therapy

Baby Nina back home after pioneering gene therapy

James Preston

Baby Nina back home after pioneering gene therapy

A seriously-ill baby is back home with her family in Maidenhead after undergoing a revolutionary gene therapy treatment which could pave the way to save thousands of lives.

Nina Warnell was given little chance of survival after she was born without an immune system but the 16-month-old youngster, who has a condition known as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), could be cured by a pioneering treatment which 'corrects' her cells.

The treatment, which involved bone marrow extraction and chemotherapy at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), has never been attempted for someone Nina's age but could become a vital treatment for children with similar conditions and avoids the high-risk procedure of a bone marrow transplant.

Dad Graeme compared the advance treatment to 'something out of Jurassic Park' and said he was delighted to have Nina back at the family's riverside home this week after a difficult recovery which saw her contract a potentially life-threatened bacterial infection and virus.

"She really, really reacted well and fought everything off," he said.

"Fingers crossed she's on the right path. Anything that could go wrong has at some point gone wrong but she's come through it."

Graeme, 43, and wife Aga, 39, must now play the waiting game and should know whether the treatment is starting to help her produce her own immune system by about Christmas.

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