Recently, in the cell collection room of the Department of Hematology of People’s Hospital in Haikou, south China’s Hainan Province, Lieutenant Commander Peng Zhixi, an officer assigned to a regiment of a PLA Navy’s joint training base, successful donated his hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). His blood sample was then rushed to Beijing by the staff of the Red Cross Society of Hainan Branch. The HSCs contained in the blood sample would be used to rescue a 21-year-old female leukemia patient.
At the end of last year, a 21-year-old female college student was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Her parents sold the house and saved every penny for her treatment. After four chemotherapy sessions, the girl was in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant. Looking at the dying child on the hospital bed, her parents were burning with anxiety.
Fortunately, the medical staff found the matching HSCs in the stem cell bank, and succeeded in initial matching. The HSCs in need belong to the above-mentioned naval officer Lt. Comdr. Peng Zhixi.
In January this year, Peng was notified by the Red Cross Society of Hainan Branch about the news. At the same time, he was also told that being a little old to donate the HSCs, he might face certain risks. However, when asked his own willingness, Peng replied without any hesitation, “Of course, yes! It is meaningful to save others’ lives, not to mention that I am a military member.”
During preparations for donation, Peng actively cooperated with the staff while working, completing high-resolution blood sample matching and a head-to-toe examination in succession. On May 19, he went through the formalities and was admitted to the Haikou People’s Hospital, where the staff started to collect his HSCs after five consecutive days of injection of granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSFs).
With the blood bag containing 283 ml of blood being sent to the hospital in Beijing where the patient was treated, Lt. Comdr. Peng has thereby become the 129th volunteer in Hainan Province and the 11,358th volunteer across China to donate HSCs to save other people’s lives.
In the ward, the staff of the Red Cross Society of Hainan Branch presented flowers and certificate to Peng, expressing their deep respect.
“Dad, you are my hero,” his son held flowers and said, proudly.