Wisconsin girl meets donor who saved her life
HOWARD, Wis. (AP) – A northeastern Wisconsin girl, who would have died without a bone marrow transplant, has finally met the man whose donation saved her life.
About three years ago Mira Erdmann was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that affects about one in a million people. Doctors said a bone marrow transplant was the Howard girl’s only chance of survival.
Chrestean Werth, of Germany, found out he was Mira’s match just three months after he became a donor.
“That brought me tears. I sat at home. I called my wife. She was at work, and I told her, I said ‘It was for a little girl,'” Werth said.
His stem cells were harvested and sent to Mira’s doctors in the U.S. Mira received the transplant and pulled through despite several complications and a tentative outcome.
“My part was the smallest one, but it’s cool to see that she’s now so happy and healthy after all that,” Werth said.
The Werths and the Erdmanns initially communicated through letters because registry rules require anonymity for two years.
“When we received letters, there was something blacked out or it was something make to where we couldn’t read it,” Werth said. “We took a flashlight behind to find some information.”
Werth and his wife flew to Wisconsin to meet with the Erdmanns this week.
“It was almost surreal, because we had been chatting with him on Skype since December, so to see him in person; I thought I would never let him go,” Mira’s mom, Tania Erdmann, said. “We cried and we hugged, and it was just really emotional.”
Erdmann said Mira and Werth are two peas in a pod.