Tyne & Wear

Marrow donor Barry Crackett meets US boy he saved

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Media captionTwo years ago Barry Crackett was told he was a match for a little boy with blood cancer

A bone marrow donor from Northumberland is to fly to the US to meet a schoolboy whose life he saved.

Two years ago Barry Crackett was told he was a match for a little boy with blood cancer.

At the time he did not realise his donation was sent to Los Angeles and the child, now seven, made a full recovery.

Now the boy's family has written to the 34-year-old of Widdrington Station, and he flies to the US next week.

Mr Crackett signed up for the Anthony Nolan donor register in 2002 after seeing a television appeal to help a young girl with cancer.

But it was only in November 2010 that he was called up to help.

Mr Crackett, whose wife Jessica gave birth to their first child Sol a month ago, said the American family sent him a four-page letter thanking him.

'Full of beans'

He said: "Two weeks before I was due to donate, the doctors did say I could pull out at any time, but if I did there was a good chance the child would die.

"He was on chemotherapy for about three and a half years which must have been awful. Then it was stopped and the leukaemia got aggressive and the transplant was the last resort.

"That was two years ago, then a month ago just after I had become a dad I received a letter from the family.

"One of the lines in it was: 'You must have a superhero immune system because he is full of beans and running around all over.

"It was a bit of a shock to find out that my recipient was American. But as soon as I heard that he wanted to meet me, I agreed."

Mr Crackett, who does not yet know the boy's name, travelled to London for the donation procedure.

He said: "I don't know why more people don't do it, it's very painless.

"I spent a night in hospital and the next day I was away home. I was quite tired afterwards, but that was it, really.

"I also felt an immense sense of well-being."

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