08:30AM, Thursday 03 January 2013
A seriously-ill baby is set to become the first child in the world to receive a pioneering new form of gene therapy.
The revolutionary treatment could provide a cure for Nina Warnell, who was born without an immune system but has defied the odds to celebrate her first Christmas at home with her family.
The 10-month-old youngster suffers from a form of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and was rushed for treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) over the summer from her family's home in Poland.
But her father, Graeme, who is from Maidenhead, said little Nina has continued to surprise everybody since her release from hospital in July.
He said: "She has really turned a corner and she's responded very well.
"She's put on weight, she's got teeth coming through and she's just started to eat solids.
"It's unbelievable. She has amazed the doctors in her response and her internal resilience."
Nina will now return to GOSH this month to have her bone marrow extracted for testing, before beginning treatment in April which will replicate the genes she is missing and put them back in her body over a number of years.
The therapy could pave the way to help thousands of children with similar conditions.
The family, which also includes 10-year-old Megan and Mia, three, are now back in Maidenhead and have turned their new home into a quarantine zone to protect Nina.
Graeme said: "We live in a house of compulsive hand washers. As long as we keep things very, very clean we are okay.
"It really is all about keeping Nina healthy and well."