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Parents of seriously-ill Shipdham baby Henry Vinen thank vital community support

PUBLISHED: 15:30 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:30 12 July 2017

Henry Vinen, pictured when he was 11-weeks-old, who has been diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency, with his mum and dad, Maria and Stuart, and brother, Oscar, at their home at Shipdham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Henry Vinen, pictured when he was 11-weeks-old, who has been diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency, with his mum and dad, Maria and Stuart, and brother, Oscar, at their home at Shipdham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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The parents of a seriously-ill baby who is fighting for his life have thanked the ongoing support from the Norfolk community.

Four-month-old Henry Vinen, from Shipdham near Dereham, was born seemingly fit and healthy.

But after several weeks of infections his parents Maria and Stuart were told the devastating news their newborn was battling against the rare and potentially fatal condition Severe Combined Immunodeficiency.

The illness means his body cannot fight the simplest of infections because of a faulty immune system.

Henry has spent the last five weeks at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and the last week in the hospital’s intensive care unit because he is struggling to breath.

In order to reach his first birthday, he needs a bone marrow transplant and his parents set up a Crowdfunding page to raise £30,000 to fund his 24-hour care before the transplant.

MORE: Crowdfunding launched for baby who could die from the simplest infection

It has so far raised nearly £6,500 and has paid for practical items including clothes, bedding and bottles, which need to be constantly replaced because of Henry’s lack of immune system.

Mrs Vinen, 30, who has been based at GOSH for several weeks with her husband and eldest son Oscar, said: “We live in 24 hour blocks. We are thankful for the support from others. It has been astounding. Even people who don’t know us have been messaging us. That goes a long way. We feel we are not alone.”

Oscar, who is nearly two-years-old, was discovered to be a bone marrow match and an emergency transplant was done at the beginning of July to boost Henry’s health.

The family has to wait 100 days to find out if a full bone marrow transplant can be done using Oscar’s bone marrow.

Mrs Vinen added: “100 days doesn’t sound a lot but it feels like a long time. There are no words to explain how awful things are.”

Henry is currently conscious but to help his breathing he could potentially receive a drug being trialled in America to treat the Ebola virus.

On September 17 a sponsored 10K run is taking place in Shipdham to raise money for the Crowdfunding page.

Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Henrysjourney and search Team Henry Sponsored Run Weekend on Facebook.

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