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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Tot recovering after US brain op
Jasmine Harris
Jasmine's parents first realised she was ill when her speech deteriorated
A little girl is recovering from a groundbreaking operation in the US to help her beat a rare genetic disorder.

Three-year-old Jasmine Harris, from Shooters Hill in south London, had holes drilled in her head.

Surgeons at New York's Weill Cornell Genetic Research then injected replacement genes into her brain.

Jasmine, who has Batten's Disease and may have become blind and unable to walk, is only the eighth person in the world to undergo the operation.

"No words can describe how elated we feel," said Jasmine's mother Tina, whose son also has Batten's Disease.

Jasmine's parents discovered she had the same disorder as her older brother when her speech started to deteriorate.

Without this she will die and I don't want to lose my daughter
Mark Harris, Jasmine's father

Seven-year-old Jordan is not expected to live beyond his 10th birthday and has already lost the ability to walk and talk.

Mrs Harris said: "Sadly, through our experience with Jordan, we know exactly what is going to happen if we don't at least try."

Batten's Disease is inherited through defective genes from both parents and starts between the ages of two and four.

Sufferers experience seizures, lack of muscle co-ordination, blindness and mental deterioration.

Jasmine's father Mark said: "This is a major operation but it is the only thing that we have got.

"Without this she will die and I don't want to lose my daughter."




SEE ALSO:
Youngster dies after US brain op
25 Nov 04 |  Nottinghamshire
Family's plea for US treatment
09 Oct 02 |  Health


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