A leukaemia patient at St George’s received a lifesaving stem cell transplant last week after selfless staff at NHS Blood and Transplant (BT) battled through the snow to deliver the cells in time.

Biomedical Scientists at NHS BT, Geoff White and Sue Bartlett, drove three-hours from their base in Southampton – where the stem cells had been processed – to St George’s where the patient was being prepped for their scheduled transplant.

The stem cells are usually delivered by contractors, but due to the snow and bad weather the drivers had been advised to stay off the roads. So, not wanting to let the patient down, Geoff and Sue decided to wrap themselves up and hit the road with the stem cells.

Sue said: “When we got to St George’s we handed over the stem cells to the transplant nurse who was surprised to see us. The patient was at the hospital having had their last round of chemo ready for the transplant, so it was imperative that the stem cells got there.”

Thankfully, the transplant was a success and Sue and Geoff made it back to Southampton in one piece following their heroic journey cross country.

Michaela Mayhew, Stem Cell Transplant Nurse Coordinator at St George’s, said: “Geoff and Sue truly went the extra mile for our patients by hand delivering the stem cells last week during the bad weather spell. We really appreciate their support and willingness to get them here when other transport couldn’t. Thank you so much!”

The recent severe weather meant that NHS Blood and Transplant also took a hit on blood and platelet stocks – which meant it lost 6 – 7000 donations, the equivalent of a whole day’s stock. So, it is appealing for donors of all blood groups to walk into one of the fixed site donor centres or to book an appointment. Extra appointments have been added to some existing sessions throughout March and extra sessions are also being planned to help boost stock levels. Please visit www.blood.co.uk to find out where the extra sessions are.

You can get more information on all aspects of donation by calling the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visiting www.blood.co.uk



Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Pippa Harper, Media Manager, via philippa.harper@stgeorges.nhs.uk