AN amazing act of brotherly love has saved an eight-year-old Swindon boy's life.

Ben Couchman was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of six and endured two years of radio and chemotherapy before being given the miracle of a blood stem cell transplant by younger sibling Elliot.

The procedure means Ben no longer has the blood cancer – and meant mum Sam Couchman could spend Mother's Day this year with her two boys for the first time since his diagnosis.

Sam, of West Swindon, recalled the horror of noticing random bruising and a a rash on Ben's body that wouldn't go away, before he was rushed to the Great Western Hospital.

The 42-year-old said: “I was in complete shock because of my naivety I never believed it would happen to my child.

“It’s still very surreal, I still keep thinking about it now and it doesn’t feel real.”

Doctors also discovered a mass on Ben's chest and he was on the verge of having a stroke.

He had to go through nine months of chemotherapy from October 2018.

In September 2019 he relapsed and was treated with chemo and radiotherapy.

Two months later his six-year-old brother Elliot was discovered to be a perfect match for a blood stem cell transplant.

Sam said: “I was massively relieved to find out he was a match but it also made me feel slightly sick.

“On the day of the transplant I had Elliot downstairs and I was with him while he was having the operation. But their dad Toby was with Ben at the time.

“It was very hard because they were a match but they still had to go through the procedure and we were all split up.”

Toby started off upstairs in the hospital with Ben and Sam was with Elliot downstairs before they switched places.

“I was very conflicted because I didn’t want another son to go through a procedure but it was Ben’s best chance of survival," Sam said.

"We had to keep swapping and it was difficult because there would be a moment where they were both alone,” Sam said.

The boys were aware of the treatment through their hopital experiences and Sam being involved in DKMS fundraisers – a non-profit blood stem cell donor centre.

She said: “Elliot already knew what was involved with this transplant, the Human Tissue Authority interviewed him to see if he was okay about it.

"He was really eager to help is brother, he adores Ben and they both take everything in their stride.”

Ben told the Adver: “I was quite surprised when I was told Elliot would be my donor.

"But I was fine about getting the treatment because I was used to it because I had so many treatments before, it was just like any other.”

And last month, Sam had the chance to celebrate Mother's Day properly.

She said: “It was really nice to get to spend it with them both. Sometimes I feared I wasn’t going to have both of them at the end of it all but I did.”

Sam is calling for more people to come forward and donate to help families like the Couchmans.

Only 4,594 people in Swindon have registered with DKMS.

For more on donating visit