[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 28 August 2006, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Stem cell treatment for ill girl
Sacha Skinner
Sacha is scheduled to receive four injections over one month
A five-year-old girl from Sussex has started receiving stem cell therapy in a remote hospital in China in an attempt to halt a degenerative disease.

Sacha Skinner, from Brighton, suffers from Batten's Disease - a rare disorder inherited through her genes - which affects her speech and movement.

Her family raised 20,000 for the trip as the treatment is illegal in the UK.

Sacha is scheduled to have four injections taken from umbilical cords over a period of one month.

'Moral issue'

It is claimed in other similar cases stem cells have slowed the progress of Batten's disease.

Annette Dacosta, Sacha's mother, said: "Maybe I am offering her up as a guinea pig to be the first child to see what happens with stem cells.

"If it works, fantastic. If it doesn't work, then my child's had four injections and she's come out of it unscathed.

"Yes there is a moral issue but no one's getting hurt. Umbilical cord stem cells are being used for Sacha which would normally be incinerated."

Sacha will be treated at a clinic in Shenyang in northern China.

Q&A: Stem cells
19 May 05 |  Health

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific