Plucky Ilkeston teen donated bone marrow

Teenager donated her bone marrow to a stranger. Pictured is Sian Martin.
Teenager donated her bone marrow to a stranger. Pictured is Sian Martin.

A brave student from Ilkeston underwent a painful procedure to donate bone marrow in memory of a friend’s brother who died of leukaemia.

Sian Martin, 18, who studies health and social care at Derby College, in Ilkeston, went to London to have the marrow extracted from her hip bones.

The teenager wanted to make the donation as a tribute to her friend’s brother who died as a teenager when she was ten years old.

She underwent a lengthy process involving multiple blood tests and was added to a register of donors earlier this year.

It was in July that Sian was contacted and told that a match had been found, and on August 26, she underwent the procedure.

Sian said: “I didn’t take the general anaesthetic very well.

“I lost a lot of blood and I’ve been quite poorly since because my iron levels dropped.”

She had to have a more complicated procedure other than the usual way of extracting bone marrow due to complications with her blood and will have to go back to The London Clinic this week after being referred by the doctors in Ilkeston.

She said: “I was in a lot of pain when I came out. The doctor said the pain feels like breaking a bone, which is right.

“But I’m okay and they just want to make sure that I’m all right and my iron levels are doing fine.”

Despite everything, Sian is pleased to have made the donation.

“What I’ve put myself through has been painful,” she said.

“But I’d do it again tomorrow.”

Sian has been told that her donor match is a young boy between the age of nought and 18 and there is a 75 per cent chance that her bone marrow will save his life.

She said: “Bone marrow replaces itself in me within a week. There’s a really strong chance it will cure him for the rest of his life.”

Bone marrow is a spongy tissue found in the hollow centres of some bones. It contains stem cells which can grow into any of our normal blood cells.

After the donation, as long as the transplant is successful, the new bone marrow will begin to make healthy blood cells and the person receiving the donation will start to get better.

Sian is now off the register for three years, unless her donor match needs her again.