South Wootton man donates bone marrow to save stranger

Sammy Edris, of South Wootton, during his bone marrow donation
Sammy Edris, of South Wootton, during his bone marrow donation
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A South Wootton man has helped to save a cancer patient’s life by donating bone marrow.

Sammy Edris, 21, will never meet the man who received his donation of stem cells, but he was over the moon to learn that the man had survived.

Now Mr Edris is hoping to encourage more people to step forward to become bone marrow donors.

Around 2,000 people in the UK need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant from a stranger each year and for many this is their only chance of survival.

Anthony Nolan was the world’s first bone marrow register and is now putting out an appeal for more men aged 16-30 to sign up.

Mr Edris, who is studying law at Sheffield, said: “It is not a bad feeling knowing that you have saved someone’s life.

“You don’t hear much about them. He had a form of cancer and I think he lives abroad. A few weeks ago I heard from Anthony Nolan to say the donation had worked and he had survived.

“It was really easy and that is why I think talking about it is important to encourage more people to become donors.

“It is something that everyone should get involved with.”

Mr Edris was encouraged to sign up to the register by his mum, Annette, who is a nurse.

After signing up, Mr Edris sent swabs of cells from his cheek to be listed on the register.

Last September, he was asked to make a donation of stem cells.

He said: “You have to have a lot of blood tests first.

“Every morning for four days beforehand a nurse came to my home to give me an injection and check my blood pressure.”

He had been given injections of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, a naturally-occurring hormone which increases the number of stem cells.

On the fourth day he went to a Sheffield hospital to donate via peripheral blood stem cell collection. A tiny tube was inserted into his arm to draw out the blood which passed through a machine to collect the stem cells.

Mr Edris said: “I was hooked up for about six hours. But it is an easy way to save someone’s life. There is no excuse not to do it.

“These people have no chance of survival unless you get on the register and give them a chance.”

To join the register, you must be aged between 16 and 30, weigh more than 7st 12lbs and be in general good health.

For more information go to www.anthonynolan.org