On Friday I received the parcel from Suzanne containing some fancy sample bottles for checking and cross matching my blood with Jamie's. I spent a vaguely amusing half hour being passed round in circles on the phone to Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, to be told eventually that they couldn't take these samples. Strange. It's a large hospital.
Before phoning Suzanne I tried another hospital in Tameside and found they could do it. They've a walk in clinic.
So today I pootled over there and waited quietly in a short queue. I was a bit worried cos there were warnings on the attached form to say the blood had to be taken by a suitably trained person. When I got in there the nurse said they didn't use bottles like these but, in any event, she pulled two syringes full of blood from my arm and inserted said blood into the two bottles using a needle.
I didn't even cry.
Then off to a Post Office to pack them off to the lab in South Wales where they'll work some magic. They're on next day delivery so, tomorrow, my fine Yorkshire blood will be in Wales.The checks are for HLA typing, anaemia, hepatitis B and C, CMV, EMV and syphilis (don't ask me what the initials stand for). Evidently there doesn't need to be an exact match. Recent contact with a donor, who gave to his son, showed he only had a 50% match. Suzanne tells me stuff can be added to Jamie's blood to assist compatibility and they've even done transplant with no match at all. All that sounds quite positive to me, just as long as they don't find any type of infection I guess.
All that work takes at least two weeks, then Suzanne has to meet with their scientific team to get their judgement. She expects to have an answer by early July. So by the time I'm back from France I'll be in touch to get the outcome.
Fingers, as ever, are crossed.
There'll be a gap now in these updates until I'm back in the UK, after 20th July. Follow my adventure in France on here or Twitter if you wish. As an aside, I'm raising money for Cancer Research UK. My Justgiving page is here.
Thanks for visiting the blog.
I wish for luck for my friend Jamie.