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Surprise, surprise! Falmouth schoolboy appears on national TV
9:57am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
Falmouth schoolboy Domenic Doyle appeared on national television on Sunday night when he met the stranger who saved his life.
It was in 2011 that Domenic underwent a bone marrow transplant, but he never knew the donor’s identity until ITV’s Surprise Surprise stepped in and brought the Doyle family face-to-face with father-of-four Neil Lovell, from Northampton Domenic, who lives with his parents Mike and Amy and little sister Sophia in Oakfield Road, was first diagnosed with leukaemia in 2009 after he became ill during a holiday in Spain.
After six months of treatment at Bristol Children’s Hospital he was given the all clear, but he suffered a relapse in 2011 when the family was told he needed a bone marrow transplant.
Mike said: “It was scary because we knew what it would entail but it was our last hope – it was that or nothing.”
No family members were found to be a match so doctors turned to blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan to try to find an unrelated donor and were successful. Neil Lovell had joined the register two years earlier and was delighted that he was able to help young Domenic.
Tears flowed when Neil and his wife Kirsty were introduced to Mike, Amy and Domenic as part of Sunday’s Surprise Surprise programme.
Mike said afterwards: “It’s difficult to put into words our feeling towards Neil. You can’t thank someone enough for doing something selfless and saving your son’s life. Neil is very humble and says that it’s no big deal but we wouldn’t be here as a family today without him and that’s the most important thing in the world.”
Ann O’Leary, head of register development at Anthony Nolan, said: “This was an incredibly emotional meeting that moved everyone watching. It’s amazing to think that Domenic wouldn’t be alive today without Neil – a stranger on the other side of the country who he had never met before.
“We need more young men to think like Neil and sign up as bone marrow donors so that there are more amazing stories like Domenic’s.”
As well as having the memories of meeting Domenic’s saviour, the Doyles walked away from the ITV studios with a family holiday in Florida where the nine-year-old can fulfil his dream of swimming with dolphins.
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