A 47-year-old woman who was diagnosed with the potentially fatal blood cancer leukemia was introduced to the 30-year-old man who helped save her life on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Traci Pruitt, of Ninety Six, South Carolina, was recipient and Tom Koerner, of Austin, Texas, was the donor.
They hugged Saturday after meeting for the first time through the Gift of Life Marrow Registry at the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity International Convention.
“My stomach is hurting,” Pruitt told KTLA after she met him on Saturday. “It’s all overwhelming. Thank you is not enough to tell him what he did for me. Saved my life. My family is appreciative. We’re just truly blessed.”
Koerner said he enjoyed the experience.
“Tonight’s been incredible,” said Koerner as he stood next to Pruitt Saturday. “I’ve been thinking about you and your family for five years now hoping and praying you were all right.”
Koerner, a fraternity brother of Zeta Beta Tau, said he took a swab of his cheek in 2007 that was sent out to the registry. He then received a call in 2013 before the transplant occurred.
KTLA’s Judy Oehling contributed to this story.