A Perfect Match: What happens now?

23/05/2019 Posted by admin

For weeks now Noel and his parents have been down here in Bethesda, Maryland. This has not been an easy time for Noel. To prepare for a bone marrow transplant a patient’s own immune system must be completely wiped out so that when the transplant occurs the patient’s body doesn’t attack and reject the donor cells. Noel has receive chemotherapy in preparation. Today, two days before the transplant, Noel will receive his last round of chemotherapy. Tomorrow he will receive radiation and then Thursday is the big day!

Story continues below

HangZhou Night Net

A doctor at the Alberta Children’s hospital once explained to me that preparing for a transplant is like going to hell and back. Steve Hirlehey, a Lethbridge man who’s daughter received a transplant to treat leukemia was told that his daughter would be taken to the brink of death. This will not be difficult and there is a chance it could fail. Noel’s body could reject the transplant despite the chemotherapy. The other risk is that Noel will develop a common complication called Graft vs Host disease. That’s a partial rejection where the body accepts the new bone marrow but the donor cells start to recognize the patient’s organs as belonging to someone new and begin to attack. A person with Graft vs Host can develop lung, heart or kidney problems. Specialists here have come up with a backup plan in the event of a total rejection. Noel’s orginal bone marrow has been saved so that it can be transplanted back in the event he needs it to survive.

The third outcome is a cure and this week that’s what everyone is focusing on.

Comments are closed.