A MAN given just two years to live is ‘eternally grateful’ to his younger brother after he donated his bone marrow and saved his life.
Graham Paske, 53, from Bury St Edmunds, travelled to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital for a vital operation on September 1 to remove part of his bone marrow to give to his brother.
Bury born Stephen Paske, 59, a retired teacher and NHS sexual health specialist who now lives in Newcastle, was diagnosed in October with a form of pre-leukaemia called Myelodysplastic syndrome. The disease attacks the bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells and can only be treated by a bone marrow transplant.
Graham, a commercial heating engineer and father-of-three, said: “Doctors tested my blood and found that I was a perfect match and a sibling match has the best chance of survival.
“It was the first time I have ever been in hospital – I absolutely hate them – but it was something I just had to do for him.
“It has brought us together and was a very important and good thing to do.”
Stephen, who left the hospital last Thursday, said he would not have survived if his brother had not helped him.
He said: “The disease made me short of breath due to lack of red blood cells, prone to infection because of lack of white cells and made me more likely to bump and bruise because of the lack of platelets in my blood.
“I was given two years to live with no treatment and the only treatment was a bone marrow transplant.
“I have only one brother and there was only a one in four chance of his bone marrow being suitable. I feel eternally grateful to my brother Graham and feel so lucky that we were a match.
“He was the only person with a good enough match for my marrow so if he had not been willing to go ahead with the operation I would not have survived for long.”