8:00am Thursday 31st October 2013
A BONE marrow donor met the man whose life he saved for the first time after ten years at his home in Sale on Tuesday.
Andrew Howie, 48, of Grasmere Road, donated the tissue in 2003 - not realising he had prevented the certain death of a leukaemia patient in Scotland, who went on to get married and have twin boys.
However, after receiving an anonymous thank you card via the National Bone Marrow Registry on the tenth anniversary, the married former insurance underwriter said he became determined to track the mystery recipient down - and was 'blown away' by meeting him.
"The thing about donation is you never usually know the outcome - so it is nice to know what happened," added Mr Howie.
The transplant service advises against donors and recipients getting in contact, as inevitably the results do not always end in success.
But with both men in agreement that they wanted to be put in touch, Ian Kelly, 38, of Cumbernauld near Glasgow, was revealed to be the fortunate beneficiary of the life-saving bone marrow.
The senior customer services adviser's fate had looked bleak after medics told him finding a match was his last chance of surviving leukaemia - before surgeons transplanted an incredible 1.5 metres of the tissue in a successful operation in April 2003.
Mr Kelly said: "If it wasn't for Ian I would never have met my wife, or had my beautiful twins."
The Scot, who lives with his wife, Leanne, 32, and four-year-old sons Aaron and Rhys, added that it had been an 'emotional' day, with the pair hitting it off before going for a curry on the evening of the meeting.
Mr Kelly said: "It has been a wonderful day - and I am looking forward to Andrew visiting me in Scotland!"
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