Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thank You for Saving My Life

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thank You for Saving My Life

Article excerpt

EVERY day as she watched her son grow stronger, Maggie Compton wondered who the mystery person was who had saved him.

So for the American mum, coming face-to-face with Barry Crackett was a dream come true as she got to say those precious words, thank you.

The 34-year-old travelled to Los Angeles with his wife Jessica and newborn son Sol to meet schoolboy Ryan whose life Barry saved when he donated bone marrow two years ago.

Barry was told before his transplant that without his donation Ryan, who was battling blood cancer, would have died.

Speaking from across the Atlantic at the Compton family home, Barry said it had been an honour to finally meet eight-year-old Ryan.

"Meeting Ryan was great, we hugged each other and everyone was crying. Everyone was just very emotional," said Barry, of Widdrington Station.

"There were a lot of tears going on and it is a day I will never forget," he said.

Barry and his family have been staying with Ryan and his parents Maggie and Jason.

Speaking to the Chronicle, 43-year-old Maggie said meeting Barry and his family had been "the best day ever".

"It's really hard to put into words, we waited two-and-a-half-years to meet the person that saved Ryan's life," she said.

"I was always watching Ryan, if he was running around and just breathing in his sleep, and I would wonder about Barry even though I didn't know that was his name. I wondered, 'Who is this person that saved him, that person is the reason he is still breathing'.

"I thought a lot about Barry over the past two-and-a-half years, at least on a daily basis, wanting to thank him.

"It was huge to meet him, it provided a lot of closure as well, it was ending a very difficult chapter of our lives but on a really happy note," said Maggie, who is also mum to son Nick with husband Jason.

The two families, who have been brought together by Barry's donation despite the thousands of miles between them, have been spending time getting to know each other.

Maggie said: "This new chapter for us starts off happy, it really was the best day ever to meet Barry and his beautiful family. …

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