Monday 25 September 2017

Skier Chemmy Alcott stores umbilical cord blood after son's birth

Skier Chemmy Alcott, her husband Dougie Crawford and their newborn son Locki (Hello!/PA Wire)
Skier Chemmy Alcott, her husband Dougie Crawford and their newborn son Locki (Hello!/PA Wire)

Olympic alpine skier Chemmy Alcott has opted to store blood from her umbilical cord and placenta following the birth of her first baby.

Alcott, 34, and her husband Dougie Crawford welcomed a baby boy, Locki, on January 13.

The skiing champion, who competed in the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Turin, Vancouver and Sochi before retiring from the professional sport in 2014, told Hello! why she decided on the treatment.

She told the magazine: "Thinking about how Dougie and I are adrenaline junkies, the likelihood that he's one too is quite high."

The procedure involves storing blood, called cord blood, left over from the umbilical cord and placenta soon after the birth.

The blood contains live-saving stem cells which can, according to the official NHS website, be used to "treat many different cancers, immune deficiencies and genetic disorders".

She explained: "It's an insurance policy you don't ever want to use.

"I did some research into it a while ago when my leg was broken in a ski accident. I had to see a plastic surgeon who talked about how stem cells can be used to help the skin heal.

"So, I had quite a personal experience of it, knowing it might have been used to help me."

Alcott said Locki - whose full name is Lochlan Arthur MacDonald Crawford - was born at Surrey's Kingston Hospital just after it started snowing and he weighed eight pounds, three ounces.

She said: "The moment I was told I could start pushing, I could see it had started snowing outside. I got very teary and said to Dougie, 'This is it, he is coming. He is ready'."

Alcott, who first took to the slopes at 18 months, said Locki will hopefully be following in his famous parents's skiing tracks.

"Obviously Locki will be skiing because we ski all the time, but we just want him to love the sport and have the passion that we have for it as a lot of his life will be in the mountains - but it's his choice," she said.

:: Read the full article in HELLO! out now

Press Association

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