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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 January, 2005, 14:44 GMT
Transplant brother marks birthday
The Hartley boys
Joshua Hartley (third from left) had his life-saving operation last year
The eldest of four brothers diagnosed with a rare fatal illness celebrated his 13th birthday on Saturday thanks to a life-saving operation.

Joshua Hartley and his brothers Daniel, Nathan and Luke, from Romsey, Hants, suffer from the genetic disorder XLP, which attacks the immune system.

Joshua had a bone marrow transplant in June last year after his mother Allison was found to be a match.

Without it he would have been unlikely to have reached his teenage years.

School return postponed

Joshua's father, David, said: "It's fantastic because you are not supposed to make it into your teens and I'm obviously very grateful.

"It's very emotional today because he has made it. He's doing well. He's happy and at the moment outside playing with his (toy robot) we gave him for his birthday."

Joshua was due to return to Romsey School next week, where he is in year eight, but doctors have postponed this until February while they wait for a liver disease to clear up.

Following a nationwide campaign last year by The Anthony Nolan Trust matches have also been found for Joshua's brothers.

Daniel, eight, underwent surgery in November and is now back at home recovering, while Nathan, 10, and Luke, four, are due to undergo their transplants later this year.

XLP, or Duncan's Syndrome, is one of the world's rarest fatal disorders affecting about 100 families world-wide.

Transplant brother back to school
19 Jan 05 |  Hampshire
Transplant brother returns home
17 Jan 05 |  Hampshire
Donor success for second brother
30 Nov 04 |  Hampshire
Family renews appeal for donors
22 Nov 04 |  Health
Second brother set for transplant
22 Sep 04 |  Hampshire
Bone marrow boy back with family
23 Aug 04 |  Hampshire
Brothers find life-saving donors
12 Jul 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset
Mother donates bone marrow to son
09 Jun 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset

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