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Texas Infant Dies; Suffered Same Disorder as Bubble Boy

January 03, 1988|United Press International

HOUSTON — Derek Fields, a 6-month-old boy being treated for a rare combination of disorders diagnosed only once before in medical history, died Saturday in his mother's arms, his doctors said.

Derek was diagnosed Dec. 27 as suffering from Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, an inability to fight infection that was aggravated by a blood transfusion given him in mid-December for anemia.

Hospital officials said Derek began suffering complications from the rare combination of disorders late Friday.

"The blood transfusion that would not normally affect another person caused graft-versus-host disease, where the white blood cells in that blood were attacking the baby," said Dr. William Shearer at Texas Children's Hospital.

Derek was only the second child with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency to be diagnosed as contracting graft-versus-host disease through a blood transfusion, Shearer said. The other child was successfully treated in Boston but later died of an infection, he said.

Shearer said Derek's parents, Charles and Avelina Fields, were with their son when he died.

Derek suffered from the same rare disorder as David, the so-called bubble boy from Houston who lived in a sterile bubble for 12 years until his death almost four years ago. David, who did not have graft-versus-host disease, died after a bone marrow transplant that represented his only chance of leading a normal life.

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