I think I speak for both myself and Rachel when I say, this is the most common question we get asked. We have asked our consultant the same question.

Just before Max was diagnosed in September 2020, just weeks before his first birthday, we started to have the conversation about trying for another child.

For those that don’t know, Rachel suffers from PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), which unfortunately does make you struggle to conceive. Although we are very fortunate to have been able to have a baby, we know the emotional struggle that is thrown on your shoulders.

We went through three years of hospital appointments, procedures, negative pregnancy tests and watching countless friends our age start their own families, something we wanted more than anything.

Rachel and Max when he was a newborn.

When Max was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia, obviously these plans were shelved - alongside our wedding plans, career aspirations, but none of this mattered. Our number one priority is Max, and making sure we do everything we can to save his life.

We are now (touch wood) over the worst of Max's aplastic anaemia, and hopefully the next big step is getting him and Rachel home so we can be a family again. So we have been thinking about this question quite a lot, as one day in the future we would like to expand our family.

If we have another another baby, will that child have aplastic anaemia?

All the tests on Max's genetics, as well as mine and Rachel's, indicate that it's very unlikely this would be the case. But we are being referred to the genetic specialist and counselling team to gain their specialist opinion on the subject.

The reason why they believe it's unlikely is because the genetics show that Max's condition has not been inherited from either of us.  The cause of Max’s AA is unknown and, to our knowledge, he is the youngest person in the UK to have been diagnosed with non-inherited aplastic anaemia.

The only reason we are being referred to the gene specialist is because they have found a similar variant in myself that's in Max which they want to have a deeper look into, although they aren’t expecting that to throw up any surprises.

As you can imagine, we have had countless conversations about the worry of having another baby and having to go through this all again. We even decided if the chances of this happening again were great, then we wouldn’t have another baby. That sounds rash, but putting another child through this as well as going through this again ourselves is too much, mentally. It's not fair. We've been blessed with Max, and we are incredibly lucky to have this amazing little boy who astounds us with his inner strength daily.

Hi there, I'm Connor Gardner, dad to Max, sharing our family's story from a dad's perspective.

Read more from Connor    Read more AA voices

AA voices

AA voices is a collection of blogs in which people affected by aplastic anaemia share the stories they feel are important, in their own words. If you would like to tell your story here, please get in touch with Ellie, our Comms and Fundraising Manager, by emailing [email protected].