Remarkable tale of life-saver Jane

Joy...Jane Theobald who helped save the life of Jake Larkin of USA with her bone marrow.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Joy...Jane Theobald who helped save the life of Jake Larkin of USA with her bone marrow.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A teacher in Market Harborough is to have an emotional meeting next month with a little boy whose life she saved.

Jane Theobald, head of Years 8 and 9 at Welland Park School, was a perfect, one-in-a-billion bone marrow match for a sick, five-year-old American boy called Jake Larkin.

Her bone marrow was extracted in Sheffield and sent half way round the world to Jake, at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in September, 2012. He made a full recovery.

And now Jake (aged eight) and his grateful family are travelling almost 4,000 miles to Market Harborough in June to say “thank you” to the Humanities teacher.

Mrs Theobald (59), said: “I don’t think I fully realise what I’ve done and what it means.

“But I would encourage everyone to go on the bone marrow register.”

Mrs Theobald, a married mother-of-three who also lives in the town, went on the potentially life-saving register about 30 years ago, when she was a teacher in Liverpool.

For 27 years she heard nothing more.

Then in 2012 she learnt she was a perfect match for a patient suffering from aplastic anaemia, a condition in which the bone marrow fails to make sufficient blood cells.

In March, 2013, she received a standard letter to say the recipient of her bone marrow was doing well.

And in spring 2014 she got an emotional letter from Jake’s family - dad Bob Larkin and mum Kimberley Cluff.

“I found it really hard to reply” admitted Mrs Theobald. “All I did was give some bone marrow.”

Jake’s family will arrive in England in June, and will meet Mrs Theobald for the first time at Market Harborough railway station.

The family will also attend a special assembly at Welland Park School.

To find more about joining a bone marrow register go to: www.anthonynolan.org