Manchester grandad saved by two newborn babies

David and Susan Pyne Credit: Chrisie

Leading cancer experts at The Christie in Manchester have saved a 60-year-old grandfather's life by carrying out a successful umbilical cord stem cell transplant.

David Pyne, from Baguley, underwent the transplant at the specialist cancer centre in September 2013 after exhausting all other treatment options for leukaemia.

The father of four said: "I was truly amazed when my doctor at The Christie said we could use this option.

"To think two newborns saved an old man's life is just marvellous and it's given me more time with my own grandchildren."

Dr Mike Dennis, director of the haematology and transplant unit at The Christie, said: "Umbilical cord blood is very rich in stem cells, which being so immature has phenomenal regenerative powers. These were a great, alternative source of cells for David, in fact the only option, as after a worldwide search he had no other available donor.

"Also, as the cord blood immune system is so immature, the recipient is able to accept the stem cells better and therefore accept less well-matched cells, making it easier to find donor and recipient matches."

This relatively new technique is available on the NHS and The Christie has carried out six of these types of transplants during 2013 and 2014. Patients with cancers such as leukaemia need blood stem cells to replace their own damaged cells. Find out more here.