BRAVE Belbroughton schoolboy Finley Hill and his family have celebrated a major milestone after nearly 40 days of treatment for a rare immune system disorder.

The seven-year-old, who suffers from familial HLH (familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis) which leads to damaged and enlarged organs, has undergone a much-needed stem cell transplant after an international search for a lifesaving donor proved successful.

Finley, who attends Hagley Primary School, began his treatment journey 39 days ago and he has spent the majority of that time in Birmingham Children's Hospital - escaping for a quick Christmas break - and he was finally discharged on December 30.

Today (Tuesday January 7) he returned as an outpatient for a check up at the hospital and the visit proved an emotional one as the youngster, watched on by his parents Jo and Paul Hill, rang the bell which signifies he is now on the road to recovery.

Evesham Journal:

His mum Jo was over the moon to see the milestone reached but admitted it has been an incredibly anxious time for the family.

She said: "I didn’t sleep well at all last night, we feel he’s well on the outside but until we hear the results of his bloods we really don’t know what’s going on inside and it’s terrifying.

"Waiting to hear the doctor giving us the figures I had such bad butterflies."

She added: "I’m not sure we’ll ever get to fully relax again and will rightly be on a heightened state of alert for the next few months and years while everything hopefully returns to our new normal.

"But for today we celebrate just how brilliant this boy is - how amazing he has done so far, how he has exceeded all expectations, how strong and brave he is, and how much love he is surrounded by."

She expressed her heartfelt thanks to the staff at the hospital plus the DKMS and Anthony Nolan charities and most of all the Brazilian man who selflessly donated stem cells to give Finley hope of a future.

Jo said she and Paul could never thank everyone enough for their help and support and she added that Finley "rang that bell so hard he broke it".