Monday, August 3, 1998 Published at 14:17 GMT 15:17 UK
Hospital needs cash to save lives
Panchali Baruah: £90,000 needed to save her life
A London hospital has launched a campaign to raise funds for life saving bone marrow transplants for children with leukaemia and other serious diseases of the blood.
The Hammersmith Hospital sees more than 20 overseas patients each year who cannot get bone marrow treatment in their own countries.
Surgery is expensive
But the hospital often has to refuse a transplant because funds are not available for the surgery that can cost up to £90,000.
A donor has been found in the USA, but the cost of importing the bone marrow, coupled with the cost of surgery, means that Panchali's family cannot afford the treatment.
Speed is vital
She must undergo surgery before the end of October to minimise the risk that her condition will enter a more acute phase, which would reduce her chances of survival from 50-70% to 10%.
Dr Dokal said: "Panchali has been lucky in that we have found two good donors especially as the chances of finding a donor for an Asian are less than 30%, but we need the funds to carry out the operation."
Dr Dokal hopes to raise £100,000 - £500,000 a year to ensure that no child is turned away from the hospital's haematology unit, which has an international reputation for excellence.