Saxmundham: Reuben Levett’s life is back on track after transplant

Nineteen-year-old joiner Reuben Levett of Saxmundham had his life put on hold after a tumour was dis

Nineteen-year-old joiner Reuben Levett of Saxmundham had his life put on hold after a tumour was discovered in his knee. - Credit: Archant

A teenager is looking forward to resuming his life after a life-changing transplant operation.

Nineteen-year-old joiner Reuben Levett had his life put on hold after a tumour was discovered in his knee – meaning he would need donated tissue from the NHS Blood and Transplant’s national tissue bank.

Surgeon Roger Tilman, of the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham, implanted ground bone provided by the tissue bank which enabled Mr Levett to get back to work, restart his driving lessons and resume a normal life.

Mr Levett said: “I hadn’t been working as a joiner for long when a tumour was detected in my knee.

“This knocked me for six as I was unable to work, and knew that I’d need to have surgery.


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“It’s amazing to think that bone donated by patients undergoing surgery or by people after they have died has enabled me to return to the job I love.”

Mr Tillman, consultant surgeon said: “It’s great to see our work transform Reuben’s life. We are able to do this thanks to the generosity of donors and their families.”

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Mr Levett, from Saxmundham, is being featured in a BBC Three documentary the Human Tissue Squad next Monday at 9pm.

More than 11,500 patients underwent surgery at the Royal Orthopaedic last year. The hospital provides a range of specialist operations for patients with bone and joint disorders using donated bone given by donors after death and living donors during hip surgery.

Helen Gillan, general manager at NHS Tissue Services, said: “I hope viewers watching the programme will see how patients such as Reuben depend on the generosity of donors’ families, how colleagues treat donors with respect and how dedicated and committed the tissue team are to providing life enhancing tissues to hospitals up and down the country.”

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