September 30th, 2016

Brave young cancer sufferer meets German donor who saved her life

Updated: 2:28 pm, Oct 09, 2015

IT was the perfect match when a brave young cancer sufferer met the German bone marrow donor who saved her life.

Seven-year-old Bidford youngster Esme Clayson was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia back in 2011 and had to undergo a bone marrow transplant.

But after the first transplant failed, doctors had to look further afield and eventually found a man in Germany who was a match.

And two years after the operation was deemed a success – and with Esme now clear of leukaemia – she has finally met the man who saved her life.

That man is Andreas Haber, a 30-year-old policeman from Berlin. He travelled to the Clayson’s home in Bidford with his wife earlier this week to stay with the Esme, her mum Naomi, dad Grant and 11-year-old brother Jack.

When he first met the Welford Primary School pupil he said: “I don’t have the words for this feeling. It’s a very special moment and my genetic twin is very special.”

The family have been getting to know Andreas and his wife while they stay with them, and even plan to visit the couple in Germany in future.

Esme’s dad Grant told the Observer: “It’s been great having them both here and meeting Andreas finally. He and Esme get on like a house on fire. She’s loving it and they’re spending a lot of time together.

“It’s been a long journey to get here. We wrote to Anthony Nolan asking to contact the donor as you have to wait two years before you can request their details.”

As part of their week together the group made an emotional return to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where Esme underwent the transplant some three years ago.

Grant said: “Although Esme will never be given the all clear, she is doing really well now and has check-ups every four months.

“Andreas literally saved her life. We will all stay in touch, this is the first of many meetings.”

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