Stem cell donor steps in after patient let down

A 32-year-old local man stepped into the breach to save the life of a leukemia patient, who was let down after a change of mind by the person who originally agreed to make a stem cell donation.

Zhu Guiren, a government official in Songjiang District, was the second matched donor on the list. His donated stem cell was made yesterday — the 384th stem cell donation in the city.

The patient was in a critical condition after being prepared for a stem cell transplant that was aborted when the original donor had a change of mind. The sex of the patient or whether she had now been operated on was not revealed by the hospital.

It only took six days from the new donor and his family giving consent to making the donation. In that time, Zhu underwent a health check-up and pre-donation preparation, said officials from the Shanghai Branch of the Red Cross Society of China, which runs stem cell donors’ bank. It usually takes two to three weeks to fulfill the whole procedure, they said.

The officials said they received an emergency alert on Saturday and contacted Zhu immediately.

They went to his home that night and he agreed to go ahead with his donation as soon as it could be carried out and persuaded his family to back his decision, as required by Red Cross regulations.

“We are moved by his behavior,” said Zhang Haoliang from Shanghai Red Cross. “He had no hesitation in giving the donation.”

Zhu said he signed up to join the stem cell donors’ bank in 2014 and was “prepared to give a donation at any time.”