‘I got life saving transplant from a mystery donor’

‘I got life saving transplant from a mystery donor’


When Julia Reinstein had a life-saving transplant to beat cancer she had no idea her saviour was next door. The stem cells were donated anonymously by Nathan Day, who happened to be working in the building next door to the hospital where Julia lay battling for life. Three years later, when the pair could finally meet, they discovered the incredible coincidence.

Julia, 23, who was in tears when she first laid eyes on Nathan, 29, said: “It was so emotional to meet Nathan for the first time, knowing that he had saved my life. It was lovely to spend time with him – we had an instant bond between us.”

Julia was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia two weeks before her 19th birthday in February 2019. She said: “I was in my first year of university and really busy. I was dancing in a musical, studying my science degree, going out with friends.

“I noticed my heart rate was very high. My dad is a doctor and I told I had some bruises on my legs but couldn’t remember banging myself. He told me to go and get a blood test.”

Tests showed Julia had AML, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. She had three months of chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant in June that year. The transplant replaces damaged blood cells with healthy ones, and uses a donor.

After two years Julia was able to write to her donor through the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust. She said: “We arranged to meet where he worked at the Francis Crick Institute, a medical research centre.”

The pair were stunned to discover that while Julia lay in her bed at University College Hospital, in London, Nathan was at University College.

Nathan said: “Being on the bone marrow donor register was all part of helping a stranger. The donation didn’t impact on me at all. When I finally met Julia it was great.”

● To join the donor register, visit www.anthonynolan.org

Source: Read Full Article