Turkish man to save life of British child with bone marrow donation via TÜRKÖK
İlyas Coşkun, a 35-year-old Turkish man living in the southern province of Mersin, has donated bone marrow to a British child through the Turkey Stem Cell Coordination Center (TÜRKÖK), daily Habertürk reported on Feb. 27.
Coşkun donated bone marrow to the TÜRKÖK three years ago to save a baby, though the transplant did not take place due to incompatibility problems.
Meanwhile, Coşkun, who works as a regional manager in the shoe industry, changed his phone number and has been using a new number for two years, which was unknown by the TÜRKÖK, which works within the body of the Turkish Red Crescent.
When his customers could not reach him, he decided to reuse his former phone number for an hour.
As soon as he activated his SIM card, he saw a message from the Turkish Red Crescent that said his marrow was one hundred percent compatible with a British child, who had been in need of bone narrow.
Coşkun confirmed he would donate his bone marrow to the British child without hesitating and did so in the southern province of Adana.
“The Turkish Red Crescent failed to contact me after trying to get through for five months as my phone number was different. Eventually, Özge Er, a Turkish Red Crescent employee, got in touch with me and asked me if I would be willing to donate bone marrow to a child who does not live in Turkey,” Coşkun said.
“I would never make a distinction about whose life this donation will save, whether they are a Turkish child or from another country. I said I would happily donate it,” he added.
Meanwhile, Özge Er, who is responsible for donors in the southern cities of Adana, Mersin, Hatay and Osmaniye and managed to contact Coşkun, also said she was happy to hear a child’s life would be saved.
“I did my best to contact him for several months. I am a mother and can easily empathize with parents when their child’s life is in danger. That’s why we never make a distinction between patients in Turkey or abroad,” she said.
Meanwhile, Azra Şanlı, the baby whose marrow transplant did not take place because it was incompatible with Coşkun’s marrow, was reported to have found a compatible marrow later on.