The parents of Chester schoolgirl Erin Cross have paid a heartfelt tribute to the anonymous bone marrow donor who gave their little girl a second chance at life.

Sarah and Ant Cross, of Upton , have spent the festive period at Manchester Children's Hospital with their six-year-old daughter as she underwent the lifesaving bone marrow transplant to rid her of lymphoblastic leukaemia.

It is the 'final piece of the jigsaw' after a year which saw Erin endure months of gruelling treatment in Seattle, following a huge public appeal to raise funds to pay for it.

Erin underwent the transplant just after Christmas and now faces an intense few weeks as her body accepts the new stem cells.

Her mum Sarah expressed the family's gratitude to the donor whose selfless gesture they hope and pray has saved her little girl's life.

"A young female with a heart of gold took a day off from her normal routine to donate her stem cells, which we hope will save Erin's life," said Sarah.

Erin Cross is all smiles on her transplant day on Thursday, December 29
Erin Cross in hospital over Christmas

"She took time out of her busy schedule and has probably had to rejig some Christmas celebration plans, because she's been having injections since Christmas Eve to prepare her stem cells for donation.

"While her friends were probably out celebrating the festivities, she has been concentrating on doing her best to save a life.

"Last week Erin received those cells which will give her a new, strong immune system."

Sarah added: "After nine months of treatment, which involved travelling to the other side of the world for a ground-breaking new therapy, this is the final piece of the jigsaw which we hope will give Erin back the normal life that she so desperately deserves.

"A selfless young woman has given Erin the chance to grow up and live her life. Whoever the donor is she will be part of our family forever and always."