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15 May 2013, 09:53
A North East dad, who helped give a new lease of life to an American cancer patient, has flown over to meet him.
Barry Crackett, from Widdrington Station, travelled out to Los Angeles, California, to meet seven year old schoolboy Ryan Compton, after he saved his life through a bone marrow transplant.
The 34 year old first joined the Anthony Nolan register in 2002 and in October 2010 he was told they had found a match.
Mr Crackett spent a week with Ryan and his family, who say that without him their son would of died.
“I was feeling quite nervous, there had been a big build-up and there was loads of camera crews,'' he said.
“I met him and we got on straight away, the day was so busy I did not really get a chance to speak to the family that day, but we then spent the rest of the week with them.
“We hugged each other and everyone was crying. We clicked with the family straight away, they are really nice people and we have a lot of the same interests.''
Ryan's mother, Maggie Compton, said they had wanted to thank Barry for what he did for a long time.
“We wanted from the minute that we heard that Ryan had a perfect match to know who he was,” she said.
“We always wanted to thank him for being so selfless, not knowing us but going to such a great length to save his life.
“Ryan is so healthy now, he is now able to be a normal little boy. Without Barry we would not have Ryan with us today.
“It was overwhelming in a wonderful way to meet Barry, it's hard to put into words what the day meant. We feel like instant family with them. My son is running around and he is being powered by Barry's blood.”