Melbourne parents strike back at critics who criticized them for genetic engineering of their baby

Fletcher Densley, 4, adores his little sister Lilliahna, who will eventually save his life

A couple has responded to critics who have criticized his decision to have a sixth child to save the life of his older brother.

Andrew and Olivia Densley, from Melbourne, were devastated in 2014 when their fifth child, Fletcher, now 4 years old, was diagnosed with Wiskott Aldrich syndrome, a rare genetic disease characterized by abnormal function of the immune system and a reduction in ability to form blood clots.

The condition is considered a death sentence.

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Fletcher Densley, 4, adores his little sister Lilliahna, who will eventually save his life

Fletcher Densley, 4, adores his little sister Lilliahna, who will eventually save his life

Just three weeks old at that time, it was his second child to be diagnosed with the fatal condition.

To save Fletcher's life, they made the courageous and controversial decision to have a sixth child who would be genetically modified.

The couple does not regret, despite the disapproval of friends and widespread public reaction.

"Olivia is a little more sensitive to what other people think and say, but she says that I do not really care, that I will only live my life and you will live yours," explained Mr. Densley in the 60 Minutes episode of the night. Sunday.

& # 39; That is the decision we have made & # 39;

Olivia and Andrew Densley (pictured) defend their decision to have a sixth child to save their son's life

Olivia and Andrew Densley (pictured) defend their decision to have a sixth child to save their son's life

Olivia and Andrew Densley (pictured) defend their decision to have a sixth child to save their son's life

The Densleys (pictured) with five of their children

The Densleys (pictured) with five of their children

The Densleys (pictured) with five of their children

Their third child, Cooper, was also born with Wiskott Aldrich syndrome in 2010, but he was cured four years ago after a salvage bone marrow transfusion from his younger brother, Jackson.

The Densleys did not believe they had such bad luck to have a second child caught in the condition when they unexpectedly fell pregnant with their fifth child, despite having a 50% chance that the baby would inherit the condition if it were a child.

"They had already hit us hard and we thought it would not happen again and that I hoped it would not happen again," said Ms. Densley.

But Fletcher was born with this condition and none of his older siblings was the boy's donor, who signed up for an international registry to find a bone marrow donor.

Fletcher Densley, 4, has Wiskott Aldrich syndrome, a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic disease

Fletcher Densley, 4, has Wiskott Aldrich syndrome, a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic disease

Fletcher Densley, 4, has Wiskott Aldrich syndrome, a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic disease

The Densleys have no plans to add their family after the recent arrival of Lilliahna (pictured), born on August 2.

The Densleys have no plans to add their family after the recent arrival of Lilliahna (pictured), born on August 2.

The Densleys have no plans to add their family after the recent arrival of Lilliahna (pictured), born on August 2.

As Fletcher's condition worsened, his parents spent $ 140,000 in two years on several IVF rounds to create a sixth child in a desperate attempt to save his son's life.

A Go Fund page was even created, which raised $ 25,000 in costs.

With the help of Dr. Gareth Weston, the baby was genetically engineered to ensure that the new addition to the family would be an exact match for Fletcher.

Ms. Densley finally got pregnant with the perfect embryo last year and on August 2, the baby Lilliahna was born happy and healthy.

While the couple admitted that they would not have had a sixth child if it was not necessary, the couple does not see it as a bad thing.

The decision of Fletcher's parents to have a sixth child has divided public opinion

The decision of Fletcher's parents to have a sixth child has divided public opinion

The decision of Fletcher's parents to have a sixth child has divided public opinion

"We can say positively to this child, yes, we have it for his bone marrow, but it's a good thing because we knew you were going to be fine, "said Ms. Densley.

But Fletcher is not out of danger yet, despite the family's renewed hope.

While Lilliahna is a 100 percent match, the transplant has risks.

The family also has to play the waiting game until Lilliahna has 10 kg before the bone marrow transplant can take place next year.

"We want everyone to know that we really appreciate the continued support they have given to Fletcher and our family during his trip to cure him of Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome," the Densleys posted on the Fletcher & # 39; s Fight Facebook page in the past. Sunday. the segment.

Fletcher (pictured) will die unless he receives a bone marrow transplant

Fletcher (pictured) will die unless he receives a bone marrow transplant

Fletcher (pictured) will die unless he receives a bone marrow transplant

"We want everyone to know that we really appreciate the continued support they have given Fletcher (in the image) and our family throughout his trip to cure him of Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome," relatives reported on Sunday.

"We hope that a great awareness will be generated about the Australian Bone Marrow Registry of the 60 Minutes episode to help other people who need bone marrow."

The public's reaction to the 60-minute story was mixed with many people who called the Densleys selfish.

& # 39; Why risk a 5th insane? Some people do not even have a child. Then, spend more than 100 thousand to have a healthy sixth just to save the fifth that they should not have had, "said one person.

Fletcher (pictured) has Wiskott Aldrich syndrome, a condition that is considered a life sentence

Fletcher (pictured) has Wiskott Aldrich syndrome, a condition that is considered a life sentence

Fletcher (pictured) has Wiskott Aldrich syndrome, a condition that is considered a life sentence

Fletcher (pictured) genetic blood disease characterized by abnormal function of the immune system and a reduced capacity to form blood clots.

Fletcher (pictured) genetic blood disease characterized by abnormal function of the immune system and a reduced capacity to form blood clots.

Fletcher (pictured) genetic blood disease characterized by abnormal function of the immune system and a reduced capacity to form blood clots.

Another added: "I could not even see the end of this story, it made me so angry! These people should be ashamed of themselves."

There was some support for the Densleys.

& # 39; Put myself in the same position I would have to think in that way, save a child that had given birth. How can you judge? Walk a mile in your shoes and see if you want to save your son, "said a woman.

Fletcher is expected to have his bone marrow transplant to save lives next year

Fletcher is expected to have his bone marrow transplant to save lives next year

Fletcher is expected to have his bone marrow transplant to save lives next year

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