A nine-year-old boy from Cornwall has become the first child in the UK to have testicular tissue removed and frozen in the hope it may enable him to have children of his own in the future.
Nathan Crawford was discovered as having a brain tumour in January of this year known as a glioma, and due to the risk of brain damage it could not be removed by surgery.
Instead doctors will attack the tumour with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but this runs a substantial risk of leaving Nathan infertile.
Although the tumour is not cancerous it could be life-threatening if left to grow, and has already caused the poor boy headaches and blurred vision. So his mother and step-father have opted to attempt the pioneering method.
Speaking to PA his mother, Donna Hunt, said:
Nathan loves children and so we told him this would increase the chances he can have his own children.”
Our decision-making process regarding whether Nathan should have chemotherapy was made so much easier thanks to the fact Oxford could offer this storage of Nathan’s cells.”
Nathan has had a small wedge of tissue removed from one of his testicles, and as it contains stem cells, it is hoped that upon being reintroduced to his body in years to come it will prompt the production of sperm.
His stepfather, Jonathan Alison, told PA:
He’s coped really well and hasn’t suffered too much from side-effects, just some jaw ache and a bit of sickness.”
He’s very much looking forward to Christmas and we couldn’t be prouder of the way he has taken it all in his stride.”
Hopefully the brave fella has the Christmas he no doubt deserves.