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One act of mercy, and one life saved

    Yang Fangbing is delighted that a young Korean is recovering after receiving his blood stem cells.

    The 45-year-old is the latest of 16 “good samaritans” in the city whose stem cells donation have given foreign patients the chance of life.

    Thanks to a green channel opened by Pudong airport, the donor’s cells were transported in time to South Korea last week and transplanted into a 22-year-old patient.

    The airport’s action was crucial because if the cells are stored or transported improperly, they can’t be used. And, meanwhile, a patient’s life is in danger.

    To get different departments to work together quickly, an agreement on a green channel was reached yesterday by the city’s Red Cross, customs officials, airport authority, immigration inspection station and youth league committee.

    “Previously, we have to make many calls among different departments,” said Li Li, an official with Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection. “But now, the Red Cross just needs to send us documents in advance.”

    Yang, who lives in Fengxian District, is a migrant worker from Sichuan’s Ya’an. He has been donating blood since 2012, and he joined China Marrow Donor Program in May 2015. Last August, he was told that his cells matched a leukemia patient in South Korea.

    On November 13, he underwent a four-hour stem cells collection at Shanghai No. 1 People’s Hospital. Next day, his cells were flown to South Korea, together with his letter that read “China and South Korea are friends. I hope you recover health soon.”

    Shanghai has 180,000 volunteers registered to be hematopoietic stem cell donors. The city has recorded 392 successful cases, including 16 cross-border donations that have helped people in Italy, the United States and other nations.