A big-hearted West Midlands Police officer has helped save the life of someone he doesn’t know by donating stem cells.
PC Anil Bains was working at Perry Parr custody suite over two years ago when international charity DKMS visited with a pop-up stand. The 30-year-old father of two went to talk to them and agreed to sign up.
DKMS is a company that was originally founded in Germany and now operates worldwide to give blood cancer and blood disorder patients a second chance of life
Anil, who now works as a neighbourhood policing officer in Bartley Green, explained: “They took a mouth swab and at the time, I didn’t really think I’d ever be called up.
“Four months ago, it came as a bit of a shock, when I was notified that I was on a short-list of possible donors and was asked to visit my local hospital for some tests. The samples they took revealed that I was the best match for the patient and arrangements were made to donate at a hospital in Sheffield.
“Four days prior to the procedure, I had to give myself two injections a day, which were to boost the stem cells in my body. I was advised to take it easy, but only experienced some dull aches, so it wasn’t too bad.
“The donation involved taking blood from a vein in my right arm, where it went through a machine to extract the stem cells and then the processed blood was fed back into a vein in my other arm.
“After five hours, it turned out I had given five times more stem cells than the patient required. It really wasn’t painful and I completely recovered within a few days.
“It feels great to know that I’ve helped someone with blood cancer, and it’s become a joke in our neighbourhood team that I don’t just save lives at work!”
All Anil knows about the patient is that she is female and in her thirties. He’ll be allowed to meet her in two years’ time and wants to be able to pass on his best wishes to her.
Anil added: “Overall, it’s been a really positive experience, especially because it has motivated family, friends and colleagues to register with DKMS. There is a shortage of Black and Asian donors so I’d like to encourage everyone to consider signing up.
“It probably amounts to a week out of your life to save someone else’s life, which in the grand scheme of things, isn’t a lot.”
Find out more about signing up as a potential stem cell donor here.