Derby doctor's stem cells help stranger with cancer

Thomas Livingston
Image caption Thomas Livingston said his mother's cancer treatment inspired his decision to donate stem cells

Stem cells donated by a doctor are being used to save the life of a woman in the US.

Thomas Livingston, an acute medicine consultant at the Royal Derby Hospital, was inspired to join the stem cell donor register after his mum was diagnosed with myeloma in 2014.

She was treated with donor stem cells and five years on, the doctor is doing the same for a woman he has never met.

He said helping her was an "awesome feeling".

When Dr Livingston joined the stem cell donor register, he said he never really expected to be a match for anyone.

Medical check

But in September he received a call asking him to be the primary donor for a patient in the US.

An appointment was set up for his pre-donation medical check and he had to have three injections a day in the four days leading up to the donation.

On 19 November he made the donation.

It took about four hours and involved blood being taken from one arm, passing through a cell-separating machine, before going back into his other arm.

"Knowing it's what my mum went through was on my mind the whole time," he said.

Image caption Helen Livingston said she was "so proud" of her son for donating

Dr Livingston was back at work three days after making the donation.

"It didn't feel like a big deal to me afterwards," he said. "Knowing that this could make that patient better is a really awesome feeling.

"Compared to what I've done, the treatment the patients are going through is on another level. I just hope now that the patient on the other side is doing well."

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