by MARY MAGEE
David Capper who bravely donated his bone
A BRAVE Dunmurry Funeral Director has offered
someone he doesn't even know the gift of life.
David Capper of Elwood and Capper offered his
bone marrow for transplant through the Anthony Nolan Trust and
underwent his operation in London, last month. David made the
selfless decision 14 years ago to give his bone marrow to help
someone else as he sat in the doctor's surgery during a routine
visit. He spotted a leaflet and registered with the charity
simply because he wanted to make a difference to someone else's
Apart from receiving the odd email from the
charity he thought little else of it.
Then six months ago David (32) from
Blackskull, received word to say a recipient was in need of his
bone marrow. David flew over in May to the Royal Free Hospital
in London where he underwent an extensive medical check.
In June the harvest was done and David
returned back to Northern Ireland waiting to be called back for
Three times he was called and three times his
operation was cancelled because the recipient was too ill to
undergo the transplant.
Despite the frustration David insisted in
going ahead with it
"The charity would ask me if I was still
all-right to go ahead with it," said David. "I was determined
simply because it wasn't his fault that he fell ill and it would
not have been fair on him if I changed my mind.
"If something had happened to him I would
have felt very responsible."
When he received the final date of September
25 he had to go through the medical again in London.
He went through the operation on a Wednesday
and the bone marrow transplant was performed on the Thursday.
After the operation David was uncomfortable
and his back was in pain for some weeks but has no regrets.
"I have the satisfaction of knowing I have
done something to help save someone else's life," he said. "The
only discomfort I had was an aching back but it was worth it.
"If I had to do it all again there would be
no question. I would encourage anyone thinking of doing it to go
ahead It is just a simple procedure and you are saving someones
life or helping make someone's life better."
Anthony Nolan Trust spokesperson Robert
Spigel said it was 'really important' for people aged between 18
and 40 to commit themselves to the Trust.
"There are currently 7000 on the register
waiting for a 'match', that is finding a donor whose tissue-type
is compatible with their own. You might be the only person in
the world with compatible tissue-type for a patient with a
life-threatening illness," he added.
"For patients who need a bone marrow
transplant it is usually their last hope of survival, so a donor
can really offer a hope of life to someone.
"It is so important that they register and
they could be on the register for 20 years so it is also
important to remain committed as their bone marrow could be
someone's final chance."
Mr. Spigel also said the Trust had a particular
shortage of young men and people from black and minority ethnic
communities. He urged anyone who would like to join the register
to do so by logging on to the website. For more information log
www.anthonynolan.org.uk or call 020 7284 1234.