Emily Wither, now 5, was diagnosed with a rare condition called aplastic anaemia in April last year and was told she only had six months to live.
“It was just devastating. We couldn’t believe it. Our whole world just collapsed around us,” said mum Jo, reports the Daily Mail.
Doctors said Emily needed a bone marrow transplant in order to survive. Tests were carried out on twin brother Jack, 5, mum Jo, dad Mark and big sister, Lauren, 9.
“Lauren had been the one who had been desperate to help Emily and she was hoping that she would be a match for her. I got the call from hospital just before I went to pick Lauren up from school and as soon as she came out of the school gates I told her that she had been found to be a perfect match. She just started crying with joy. For her, it was like winning the lottery,” explained Jo.
Following the news, Emily was put on an intensive chemotherapy treatment and then in August, Lauren went into hospital to have her bone marrow taken.
“Lauren was only 9 years old and I hated the idea of putting her through a painful operation. Yet without it Emily would die. We didn’t have any choice,” said mum Jo.
The transplant was declared a success and three weeks later, the girls were reunited for the first time, after Emily had been kept in isolation to avoid picking up any infections.
“It was so wonderful to see, and very emotional. Lauren just went in to see her and they had a big hug. Emily said a big thank you to her for saving her life,” Jo said.
Emily has now made a full recovery and is back at home, and at school.
“It’s all thanks to Lauren. I tell her she’s a hero, but she just says that she is looking out for her little sister,” added Jo.