The boy who has never hugged his parents

Jay Shetty has been severely disabled since birth and suffers from cerebral palsy, meaning he has never been able to walk, talk or play with his little brother.

A five-year-old could soon be able to hug his mother for the first time when he becomes one of the first children in the world to undergo a pioneering stem cell treatment.

Jay Shetty has been severely disabled since birth and suffers from cerebral palsy, meaning he has never been able to walk, talk or play with his little brother Kairav. But he is set to undergo a stem cell transplant using healthy cells from his little brother which doctors hope will repair his damaged brain tissue.

Jay, from London, is set to be given an intravenous stem cell treatment from Kairav’s umbilical cord blood – if he is found to be a match. His family will fly to North Carolina, where he will become one of the first in the world to undergo the procedure at Dukes University, using blood stem cells from a sibling’s umbilical cord.

Mother Shilpa Shetty, 39, said: ‘We’re delighted that Jay has been accepted for this study.  It could lessen his symptoms of cerebral palsy to the extent that he may even be able to walk and talk which would just be wonderful.’

Jay has cerebral palsy, an umbrella term for a range of different conditions where the brain doesn’t work properly. This causes problems with movement, posture and co-ordination. He has also been blind for the past three years which was caused by the poor blood flow between his optic nerve and brain.

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