Caring Ryan gives stranger a chance of living longer

ALTRUISTIC Ryan Pothecary, who has donated bone marrow to a stranger to help save a life. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (13982-1)
ALTRUISTIC Ryan Pothecary, who has donated bone marrow to a stranger to help save a life. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (13982-1)

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SELFLESS Ryan Pothecary always wants to help someone in need.

And despite only being 24, he’s done exactly that by giving a complete stranger the gift of life.

He donated some of his bone marrow to a man with blood cancer so he could have a new start.

Ryan, who lives in Portchester, gave someone a second chance because he knows how precious time is with loved ones.

His dad Arthur, 67, died of prostate cancer three years ago and his mum Tina, 63, passed away in February after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

‘I have always thought, if I can do something for someone then generally I will do it,’ Ryan said.

‘I am not a samaritan or anything like that.

‘I thought it (the procedure) would give someone more time to be with their family, and I can relate to that quite well.

‘Time with your family is precious.’

Ryan, who runs Solent Gas Heating & Plumbing, in Buckland, Portsmouth, joined the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register at 18 when he read a leaflet about it after giving blood in Chichester.

In August last year the charity told Ryan there was someone with blood cancer with the same blood type as him – A minus, which is considered uncommon.

After carrying out tests which confirmed his blood was compatible, Ryan went to University College Hospital in London in December for the procedure. It lasted five hours and two pints of blood were taken.

Ryan has the option of finding out in two years’ time who he helped and he is now waiting to see if their treatment was a success.

‘My mum was proud of me,’ he said.

‘She knew that if I was doing it for someone I didn’t know then I would have done it to help her

‘A lot of my friends thought I was doing it for my mum, but I explained it was just for a random person.

‘There is the possibility the same patient will need more.

‘If I was contacted and asked to do it again then I would say “yes, not a problem”.’

Ann O’Leary, head of register development at Anthony Nolan, is calling on others to come forward and do the same.

‘We urgently need more young men, like Ryan, to join the register,’ she said.

‘At the moment we can only find a suitable donor for half of the people that need them.

‘In 90 per cent of cases, the donation procedure is similar to giving blood.’