Give the gift of life

The story of Myla Mae Hatcher, from Sheffield, is one to gladden the heart. Her transformation from being desperately ill to a healthy and happy six-year-old is not only a joy in itself, but testament to the importance of raising awareness of the need for transplant donors.

A stem cell donor made a world of difference to Myla Mae, and deserves the thanks of her grateful parents, who hope one day to be able to meet them in order to pass on a debt of thanks like no other.

This has been the happiest of outcomes for one family, and should act as a spur to us all to do everything possible to ensure that other patients are given the same chance of recovery.

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The introduction of a presumption that organs are available for donation unless a specific request to the contrary has been made was a sensible and widely-welcomed measure that increased the life chances of many patients, but there remains the need to raise awareness of how vital transplants are – particularly when it comes to instances where children need our help.

Mayla Hatcher from Woodhouse in South Yorkshire who was diagnosed with severe aplastic anaemia. Maya with mum Danielle. Picture Scott Merrylees

This is underlined by Myla Mae’s case. The stem cell register was able to provide the perfect match that she needed, but if it is to help others then many more donors have to come forward to help save lives.

The medical profession does all it can to encourage donors, and has achieved much success. The drive for more people to join the register is one that wider society should embrace wholeheartedly.

It is very much to be hoped that Myla Mae’ story inspires that to happen. After all, she is the living proof of how essential they are.