Heather Smith suffered one of the greatest losses known to humanity: the death of her firstborn son, Brandon.
He was seemingly healthy until he caught a cold at six months old, but unlike a healthy baby, his immune system could not fight it. Three and a half weeks later, he passed away. The cause of death was severe combined immune deficiency, or SCID. Heather’s family had no history of primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDs), and as a result, Brandon was not tested at birth.
Despite her grief, Heather was determined to advocate for early SCID testing. When she became pregnant with her second child, she had tests that determined her second child, also a son, was positive for SCID. He received a bone marrow transplant in utero, and today leads a normal life.
Today, many states in the US require newborn screening for immune diseases, but other states have not yet moved to enact this measure. The Immune Deficiency Foundation is seeking to change that. To read more about their efforts, click here.
To read Heather’s story, visit SCID: Angels for Life.