Ex-soldier 'days from death' celebrates six years free from cancer

Jamie Buchanan had to undergo a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2016.

Former British soldier from Dundee celebrates six years cancer free after being ‘days from death’ Supplied

A former soldier has celebrated being cancer free for six years after being told he was days from death by doctors.

Jamie Buchanan went from serving tours in Northern Ireland and the second Gulf War to being told he had leukaemia after suffering from severe night sweats, chest and back pain.

The 45-year-old, now working as an armed response police officer, was admitted to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee where he was told the cause of the cancer was a faulty gene, known as the philadelphia positive – meaning despite chemotherapy, the cancer would likely come back.

Jamie said: “I was in and out of consciousness and was whisked away to HDU before being moved on to the haematology ward. My first thought was ‘I’ve had a good run but it’s over’.

Jamie is now father to twin girls.

“I was there with my wife who’s six months pregnant and we’re thinking I won’t get to see my kids.”

The former solider, who served for ten years, was told that his only hope would be a bone marrow transplant (BMT).

After being helped by the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Register, Jamie was matched with a German donor, and successfully completed the transplant at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in 2016.

Now, six years on, Jamie is back at work and spends his time looking after his identical twin daughters, Erin and Eva.

He said: “I consider every single member of staff as lifesavers and angels.

“I simply would not be here without them. I’d encourage anyone to sign up as a bone marrow donor as well. It’s such a simple process – not dissimilar to giving blood – and you could help save someone’s life.”

Susan Groom, director for regional services, including BMT, said: “We’re proud of the service our BMT team provides at the Beatson, and it’s fantastic to see patients like Jamie make a full recovery after what was an extremely difficult time, both at the point of his diagnosis, through to his operation and recovery.

“Thanks to the selflessness of donors, our teams are able to perform this procedure which in many cases, is life-saving.”

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