The family of a five-year-old boy diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia as a baby are fundraising to meet the donor who has helped save his life.
Joey Martyn, now aged five, was one of the youngest patients to be diagnosed with the illness at Nottingham’s Queens Medical Centre.
Hayley Ruddy, Joey’s mum, said: “He was a happy and content little baby when he was born, everything was perfect.
“Joey started to develop a blueberry muffin rash, with purple lumpy bruising over his body when he was six weeks old.
“We took him straight down to the GP and they requested we should go to hospital, where we stayed overnight.”
After doctors delivered the devastating news that Joey had leukaemia, he was admitted to hospital for numerous rounds of chemotherapy.
However, after three types of chemotherapy, doctors said Joey needed a bone marrow transplant, and gave him just a 30 per cent chance of survival.
Hayley said: “When he was diagnosed I was more in shock than anything.
“It was a tough time.
“The doctors said they had never seen anyone with acute myeloid leukaemia that young.”
On July 31, 2014, Joey was given the bone marrow transplant that saved his life at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Hayley said: “After nearly three weeks we were discharged. I was overwhelmed and scared about going home.”
Laraine Ruddy, Joey’s grandmother, has now started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Joey and his family to travel to Germany to meet his donor.
Laraine said: “Joey really has beaten the odds.
“It’s a big celebration this year, as Joey has reached five years without the leukaemia returning, so we’re hoping he can ring the bell on the oncology wards at QMC and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.”
Joey, who lives in Giltbrook with mum Hayley, dad Jay and nine-year-old sister Mya-Grace Martyn, is now a typical five-year-old boy.
Hayley said: “Joey has started nursery he’s turning into such an amazing young boy, we are so blessed.
“I had no idea my mum had set up this GoFundMe page.
“It was a lovely surprise – I was speechless when I found out.”
Hayley speaks to Joey’s donor through Facebook, and says she feels like she’s known him for years.
She said: “It’s very overwhelming that this person I’ve never met saved my son’s life.”
To donate or find out more, please visit: gofundme.com/fzsk4x-deserving-family