May Brown: Date set for leukaemia transplant

May Brown
Image caption May Brown was diagnosed with leukaemia in June last year

A woman with leukaemia, at the centre of a campaign to allow her donor sister permission to come to the UK, is to undergo a bone marrow transplant.

May Brown, 23, from Weymouth, was told her sister Martha Williams in Nigeria was an exact tissue match, but she was refused an entry visa.

The Home Office reversed its decision after more than 60,000 people signed an online petition.

The transplant is due at King's College Hospital in London on 12 December.

May Brown said initial tests on Ms Williams, who arrived in the UK on 25 October, had proved successful and she had been told there was a "minimal" risk of complication when the transplant took place.

"A lot of background preparations have been made. She passed all the medical assessments and we're just ready," she said.

Image caption May Brown's sister, Martha Williams, was found to be a "10 out of 10" tissue match

May, who lives with her husband Mike and two-year old daughter Selina-May, had been told her only chance of survival was an urgent stem-cell transplant.

Ms Williams was tested and found to be a "perfect match", but a visa application was turned down as her teacher's salary of £222 per month was too low.

More than 61,000 people signed a petition against the refusal before immigration minister Robert Goodwill granted her leave to visit the UK, citing "compassionate and exceptional circumstances".

May said the campaign had "saved my life".

"They won the battle for me - the people who signed the petition. I'm really glad they helped and people have so much love in their hearts."

Ms Williams said: "I'm so happy to be here, to help her."

"I'm overwhelmed by the outcome of so many people signing - I'm so grateful. All that matters for me is for her to get well."

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