A SOUTH Lanarkshire family has given their thanks to a donor who saved their son's life

A SOUTH Lanarkshire family has given their thanks to a donor who saved their son's life

Five-year-old Ryan Ferguson, from East Kilbride, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2011, was put in touch with his donor two years after he underwent a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

His family was able to email Eike Tjarks, a 36-year-old paediatrician in Germany, to show their gratitude for the lifesaving act.

When Ryan was diagnosed his parents Paula and Stuart were told he needed a bone marrow transplant to survive.

Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan searched the worldwide donor register and a match was found.

Ryan had his transplant in January 2012 and recovered quickly.

Stuart said: "It was just incredible to be able to say thank you to the man who saved our son's life - what an amazing person he is.

"The donor has children and is a doctor, so he can appreciate what we were going through."

Eike joined the register in 2006 when he was part of a campaign to recruit donors during an appeal for a young girl who had leukaemia.

He aid: "We have thought a lot about our unknown bone marrow recipient over the last two years and always hoped that he made it and he's fine.

"We were all hugely delighted when we heard that Ryan is a healthy, happy five-year-old boy with a great family."

Since Ryan was diagnosed, the Ferguson's have raised tens of thousands of pounds for Anthony Nolan.

His story inspired thousands of people to join the bone marrow register, including 1074 people in one day.

When Ryan fell ill, his family were making plans to move to Australia.

Now he is better they have been able to achieve their dream.

Stuart ran the London Marathon for Anthony Nolan in 2012 and 2013.