Woman hopes to save stranger's life

A CARING mother-of-four is hoping she has saved a stranger's life after donating her bone marrow to a desperately ill young man.Renee Augier, 37, has been on a national register of potential bone marrow donors for 11 years.

By Annie Davidson

A CARING mother-of-four is hoping she has saved a stranger's life after donating her bone marrow to a desperately ill young man.

Renee Augier, 37, has been on a national register of potential bone marrow donors for 11 years.

Poignantly, the day she was told she may be a match for a very ill young man was the first anniversary of her nephew's death from leukaemia.


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Ms Augier's nephew Ben Fisher, from Luton, died aged 16 of leukaemia in February last year.

A bone marrow donor match was found for him but then he was too ill for the transplant to take place.

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One year on, Ms Augier, of Aylesbury Drive, Holland-on-Sea, was contacted by a friend to say the Anthony Nolan Trust was trying to get in touch with her.

She was matched with a patient suffering from chronic myeloid leukaemia and further blood tests found she was a close match and could donate bone marrow. The operation took place on June 21 at The Royal Free Hospital in London.

During the procedure, which was carried out under general anaesthetic, doctors took a litre of bone marrow out of Ms Augier's pelvic bones using a needle and syringe.

Medics were waiting outside the theatre to take the bone marrow to the recipient for immediate transplant.

Ms Augier was released from hospital two days later and is still recovering at home.

As well as being bruised and tired - as all donors are warned they will be - Ms Augier also suffered from low blood pressure and is taking time to regain her strength

But she said she had no regrets at donating her bone marrow.

“I would do it all over again regardless of how uncomfortable it is,” she said.

“It has hit me that it was quite a special thing. Everyone is unique and I have got something which is totally mine that I have given someone else. They have got a chance of a good life now. I have had some quite emotional days.”

Strict confidentiality rules mean Ms Augier does not know anything about her recipient except that he is a young man with chronic myeloid leukaemia and lives in Great Britain.

She can be given three-monthly updates if she asks and, after two years, letters can be exchanged if the patient and Ms Augier both wish for it.

However she said she had not decided yet whether to enquire about him in case the transplant is not successful.

Ms Augier, who works at St Benedict's College in Colchester, will return to work on July 3.

She said the school and her church had been very supportive, as had her four children Elise, 17, Lizzie, 13, Ben, 12 and Charlotte, 11.

INTERNET LINK

www.anthonynolan.org.uk

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