A viral video shows Seth Lane, a 5-year-old boy confined to hospital bed, making a heartrending plea for people to support him as he prepares for life-saving surgery by wearing his favorite color yellow on March 27.
Seth, from Corby in Northamptonshire, U.K., was born without an immune system. He is now confined to hospital bed while awaiting a bone marrow transplant to be conducted in a few weeks.
He is suffering from a rare immune disorder. Being born without a functional immune system, he is unable to generate antibodies in response to infections. Because of his immunodeficiency, Seth must live in a sterile environment in a hospital to avoid contracting infections that could prove deadly.
The condition, caused by a genetic mutation, is called “bubble disease” because the patient must live in a sterile environment.
The 5-year-old has been living in a sterile room at Newcastle’s Great North Children’s Hospital since January while awaiting a second bone marrow transplant. A previous bone marrow transplant from donor umbilical cord cells failed, causing his immune system to turn on him.
After the first bone marrow transplant, he was kept in a “bubble,” unable to meet and play with other children of his age for two years, until he was about 2-and-a-half years old.
At first, it appeared everything would be fine when he returned to school, but trouble started last October when his immune system turned against him. His newly donated cells mistook his body cells for foreign invaders and attacked them
“He had no contact with other children until he was 2-and-a-half. We would go out in the pram and I would have to put the rain cover over him with a little fan inside – people probably thought I was mad.”
The crisis forced him to return to the hospital where he is being kept under sterile conditions at Newcastle’s Great North Children’s Hospital. His parents are allowed to see him at the hospital.
“If I’m a bit run down and have a cold-sore I can’t touch him. And if we have a cold we can’t go in at all. Everything has to be sterilized and his room has filtered air. The staff is scrupulous with cleaning. Nothing can leave the room once it has come in and been cleaned, his soft toys are washed at 60 degrees every couple of days and his bed sheets are boil washed every day. Nik is with him all the time so his clothes have to be washed at 60 every day and Seth has never been out the room.”
While awaiting his second bone marrow transplant, Seth made a video last week in which he used speech boards to ask for people to give him support by wearing his favorite color yellow on March 27. He also asked people to post pictures to social media under the hashtag #wearyellowforseth.
“Hello, I,m Seth. I’m 5-years old and I love Fireman Sam, Paw Patrol and yellow. I’m in hospital, I was born with no immune system, and I need a second bone marrow transplant. On March 27 lots of people are going to wear yellow to show me how much support I have. Are you going to join in? Post a picture of you wearing yellow to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #wearyellowforseth.”
The video has been watched by more than two million people.
Seth’s parents, Leanne and Nik Lane, from Corby in Northamptonshire, expressed amazement that the video went viral with nearly 2.5 million views in the first six days after it was posted to YouTube.
Thousands of people have sent messages, saying they will wear yellow on March 27 to show their support for Seth.
“We never meant to start any sort of campaign, and only expected friends and family to join in. I can’t believe it has taken off like this. It is overwhelming.”
I don’t think there is a single country in the world that hasn’t got someone who has got involved. It all helps show Seth that people are thinking of him. I told him about the views and he asked, ‘Is it more than 20?’ I said ‘yes it is’ and he said ‘wowee.'”
Seth, who has a 5-month-old brother called Hugo, will likely undergo bone marrow transplant surgery in six weeks. His loving dad Nick will donate for the transplant.
He will remain in a “bubble” for about a year after surgery while doctors monitor his progress.
His parents are optimistic that he will recover and return to normal life.