Terminally Ill British Woman With Leukaemia Given Chance At Life By Austrian Stem Cell Donor In Rare 1 In 500,000 Match

A terminally ill British woman with leukaemia now has a chance to be saved after an Austrian man registered as a stem cell donor and the two matched in a rare case, with odds of them being compatible at 1 in 500,000.

The donor, who has been named only as Christian M., 31, a builder who lives in the Austrian capital Vienna, registered as a stem cell donor with the Red Cross in the summer of 2020, because of the high rate of cancer in his own family.

But defying the odds, which were reportedly 1 in 500,000, he matched with an unnamed, reportedly young, British woman.

Christian M., 31, from Vienna, Austria, did a stem cell donation that helped a young British woman.
(Osterreichisches Rotes Kreuz ORK-Elisabeth Geibegger/Newsflash)

After lots of additional tests, the results were clear. He was deemed the most suitable donor for the seriously ill patient.

Christian said: “It’s as easy as a coronavirus test. A kit is sent to you. Then you swab from inside your cheek and send it back to the Austrian Red Cross along with a questionnaire. And then you are added to the international database.”

He added: “I knew that in another country there was a person in dire need who was waiting for my stem cells. It was clear to me that the patient had little chance of survival if the donation didn’t arrive on time.”

The Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reports that the woman is English and quotes Christian as saying: “I got a call and was told there was a request for a donation from an English transplant centre.”

Christian M., 31, from Vienna, Austria, did a stem cell donation that helped a young British woman.
(Osterreichisches Rotes Kreuz ORK-Elisabeth Geibegger/Newsflash)

Christian said that he did not expect to be a match with the ill woman and said that he was overjoyed at the result “because the probability was so small”.

The stem cell donation was reportedly picked up by a courier and taken to the UK. Christian said: “It’s a nice and very powerful feeling to be able to help someone in this way.”

It could reportedly take up to five years before Christian knows if his donation helped the English patient.

Stem cells can be transplanted onto patients suffering from leukaemia. They can be used to restore healthy bone marrow and stimulate new bone marrow growth while boosting the immune system.

Christian M., 31, from Vienna, Austria, did a stem cell donation that helped a young British woman.
(Osterreichisches Rotes Kreuz ORK-Elisabeth Geibegger/Newsflash)

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorWilliam McGee, Agency: Newsflash

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