Leukaemia sister reconsiders bone marrow donation

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The sister of a woman dying from leukaemia was yesterday reconsidering her refusal to donate life-saving bone marrow to her.

Susan Squires, 34, was said to have denied the transplant to her sister Angela Latham ,34, (pictured) because she was terrified of hospitals.

Doctors had found Ms Squires to be the only perfect match for Mrs Latham after searching a worldwide register of 4 million donors. The sisters who live 500 yards away from each other in Blackpool have not spoken to each other in almost three years after Ms Squires' phobia of hospitals led her to refuse her sister the chance of a transplant. But after a meeting with Ms Squires yesterday, Mrs Latham's husband Paul said: "She's had a bit of a change of heart. At least now she's thinking about it ... We had more conversation in half-an-hour this morning than in the last three years."

Mrs Latham's leukaemia was diagnosed three years ago and since then she has undergone chemotherapy and is now on daily medication.

Ms Squires was surprised to learn yesterday that the bone marrow donation could be performed at her home. Dr Si Ahmed, chairman of the Blackpool branch of the British Medical Association, said the operation was quick, safe, involved minimal pain and could be performed outside the hospital environment.

Mrs Latham said: "I think this is a breakthrough. She is petrified of hospitals, but she now knows that she doesn't have to go into hospital, but can instead go to her GP or to a clinic. I hope she loves me enough to do it."