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Life given back a decade ago through transplant...

Allan Glass, 71, from Holbury Southampton continues to live the life of Riley after a successful bone marrow transplant ten years ago.

Engineer Allan started feeling tired in 2004 and after visiting the doctor, within days he was receiving chemotherapy and blood transfusions for acute myeloid leukaemia.

“Just after New Year’s Eve in 2004 I was given the news that my chemotherapy hadn’t work. Over the next year I was then given a further three rounds of stronger chemo, before being put on a research trial for targeted radiation treatment. Now-a-days this is quite a common procedure, but back then I was one the first in Southampton to receive this type of specialised radiation treatment. 

“Because of my age they couldn’t do the full body radiation treatment due to the risk to my organs – it wouldn’t have worked for me. The treatment meant that I could then receive a bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor.”

Sadly Allan’s mother passed away in 1979 from the same disease, but Allan was determined not to let the disease beat him.

“I love life and find that there is no time to be miserable. After my transplant I remember the commoradory on the ward with other people going through the same as me. It was like war time humour on the ward with everyone pulling together and laughing so much that tears would be running down your face. Now that’s medicine in its own right – laughter – you can’t bottle that!”

Now ten years on from the transplant, Allan and wife Chris reflect on the new haematology day unit at Southampton General Hospital.

“I am so proud to live so close to Southampton General Hospital and to the life saving treatment they provide. I am now back to good health, but it is reassuring to know that we have a purpose-built unit close to us. I want to say a massive thank you to Dr Kim Orchard, Debbie and Kate for all their hard work and care.”

“As a patient at the time, and an engineer, I helped with the design and layout of the new day case unit back in 2008. It really has made a massive difference to the patients being so close to the ward, and having more up to date facilities.”

“Chris and I were heavily involved in the fundraising for the Southampton Hospital Charity Red&White Appeal to raise the £1.6 million needed, and are still fully supportive of everything the charity does.”

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