Blow for Sunderland tot as she fights illness

Francesca Gray and Craig Bowser of Plains Farm, Sunderland, with their daughter Chloe.
Francesca Gray and Craig Bowser of Plains Farm, Sunderland, with their daughter Chloe.
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THE parents of little Chloe Gray have been dealt a devastating blow after being told their daughter’s medication is not working.

When the brave tot was first diagnosed with the rare blood disorder Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, doctors had hoped daily steroid injections administered by parents Francesca Gray and Craig Bowser would help stimulate her bone marrow growth.

After the injections failed, the 15-month-old, who is the face of the Echo’s Chloe’s Call-Up campaign, was put on a special type of steroid.

Chloe had to take a 15mg tablet once a day but, after a six-month trial, doctors have said the steroids have failed to work.

The youngster, of Plains Farm, is now totally dependent on the monthly blood transfusions she has to endure to stay alive until she can undergo a bone marrow transplant.

It is thought Chloe will have to wait at least another 10 years before she is strong enough to survive the gruelling chemotherapy that follows the transplant.

Francesca, 20, said: “The last lot of tablets were quite a high dose.

“Unfortunately they didn’t work. That was the last chance we had, so now we’re back to being totally transplant dependent.

“This means Chloe now completely relies on blood transfusions to keep her here with us.

“There have been so many things that have gone wrong that now we always prepare ourselves for the worst, so if it works then that’s a major bonus.”

In a bid to help boost the youngster’s development, a physiotherapist is going to start coming once a week to help Chloe, who is unable to crawl or walk.

A play nurse will also visit to show Francesca and Craig what exercises and play to do with Chloe to encourage her.

The youngster is waiting to get some special boots made and fitted to help her walk, as one thigh is longer than the other.

Francesca said: “We’re hoping that all of this will help with Chloe’s development.”

Twitter: @sunechocrime