An appeal has gone out for stem cell donors to help a five-year-old boy from Blackburn who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.

Eesa Hussain suffers from aplastic anaemia, which requires chemotherapy and then a bone marrow transplant.

The condition occurs when your body stops producing enough new blood cells.

The family have not been able find a matching donor and there are calls for more people from the South Asian community aged between aged 16 to 30 to register with stem cell transplant charity Anthony Nolan.

The family were also keen to dispel issues relating to bone marrow donation with people unsure what it actually involved.

Mosan Hussain, Eesa's father, said: “There are huge misconceptions around bone marrow donations and we wanted to share our experiences so people are aware of what it actually entails and how a simple stem cell donation could help someone’s life, not just Eesa’s.”

Mosan said Eesa, who only started at primary school in September, fell ill in early December and he used to come back from school very tired. 

Mosan said: “His skin slowly became pale, and as he is fair skinned it was hard to tell at first.

"He fell sick and went very pale as his blood cells were fighting the viral infection.

"At this point I did a pressure test in his finger which showed no blood flow on his finger, so immediately we took him to hospital.

"The hospital completed blood tests, with doctors saying Eesa has a high chance he has aplastic anaemia or leukaemia, as his blood results showed the red blood cell levels had dropped to 42, when an average child’s is around 150.

"Eesa's platelet levels were also at 60, when an average child’s is anywhere between 150 and 500."

Eesa was told he would need to go to Manchester Children’s Hospital for treatment.

Mosan said: “The doctor explained he would need a blood transfusion, and we didn't know how he would react to a blood transfusion so he needed  to go in an ambulance.

“So, at this point our journey started seeing our child on an IV drip which was sad to see. 

“The one thing I do remember was Eesa saying 'I just want to go home and play with my toys’.

"This played on my mind when I took his brother Ali home and was packing Eesa's suitcase and toys, not knowing when he could come back home.

“On January 2, after the bone marrow biopsy, the doctor confirmed Eesa has a condition called aplastic anaemia, which if not treated could be fatal. 

“We felt overwhelmed and confused thinking is this really happening to us? We hear about these life-threatening conditions but to be involved in one it's surreal at first.” 

Eesa was diagnosed with very severe aplastic anaemia, a condition in which the Bone Marrow doesn't produce any red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. 

Mosan said the family felt overwhelmed seeing other ill children and babies in the ward.

He said: “It was a night we will never forget, all four of us at the hospital that night needing each other. 

“The next morning the consultant then explained to us the plan moving forward, which would involve Eesa going into theatre to have a Hickman line placed in his chest over the coming days."

A Hickman line is a catheter inserted into a vein in the chest, and is used long-term to access your veins and can be used to give chemotherapy, intravenous medications, nutrition, and to draw blood 

Mosan went on: “Following on from that we would need to find a bone marrow donor.

"Once that has been found the chemotherapy will start and Eesa will be placed in a hospital room for eight weeks with access only to parents.

 “After that Eesa would not be able to go to school for six months with regular visits to the hospital.”

Asian Image: Boxer Amir Khan also posted the appeal on his Instagram account earlier this week.

If a patient has a condition that affects their bone marrow or blood, then a stem cell transplant may be their best chance of survival.

Doctors will give new, healthy stem cells to the patient via their bloodstream, where the goal is they begin to grow and create healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. 

Mosan said: “There really are a lot of things people do not know about donations.

“In South Asian communities in particular people need to know more about what it entails. There is not enough information out there.

“Some people think they have to donate something which will impact their life but it is simply not the case.

"It is very similar to just giving blood and it could help save someone’s life; the stem cells regenerate themselves and your are able to go back to work within a week.”

Founded in 1974, the Anthony Nolan Trust created the world’s first stem cell register, which it uses to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer and blood disorder patients in need of stem cell transplants.

Anthony Nolan also carries out pioneering research to increase stem cell transplant success and supports patients through their transplant journeys.

Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Anthony Nolan, said: “Every person signing up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register could, one day, give a patient like Eesa a second chance at life.

“There are currently more than 900,000 amazing people on the Anthony Nolan register. But the charity can only help more patients if we continuously build and diversify the Anthony Nolan register – we particularly need people from a minority ethnic background to sign up to be potential donors as they are more likely to have a rare tissue type.”

People can find out more about registering with Anthony Nolan here: