A couple from Leicester have been given permission by the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to have a “Saviour Sibling” to help their sick daughter, who is 20 months old, and has a rare blood condition called diamond blackfan anaemia.

Experts told that her only hope is a stem cell transplant from someone who is a genetic match.
They will now use IVF to try to have a baby which can be a “saviour sibling”.

The Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has issued a limited number of licences for similar treatments before.

Tissue testing involves taking one or two cells from an embryo when it is around three days old.

If there is a match for the existing child, that embryo will be implanted in the mother’s womb so it can develop.

Once a baby is born, stem cells are removed from the umbilical cord and stored for four to six months when the transplant to the sick child can take place.

If the treatment is successful, it would be the first time a saviour sibling would be known to have been conceived and born in the UK.

Earlier Michelle and Jayson Whitaker from Chesterfield had Jamie, a saviour sibling for their son Charlie - who also has diamond blackfan anaemia. Charlie was given a successful transplant of stem cells from Jamie in July 2004.

Link [news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4972182.stm]