Successful bone marrow transplantation: a testimony by the father of a child with myeloma bone disease
Chronic myeloid leukosis: chronic phase treatment by bone marrow transplantation surgery.
I want to tell the story of my own child, whom we brought to Israel for bone marrow transplantation surgery to save him from myeloma bone disease. He was accepted for treatment by the Hadassah MC and received bone marrow transplant for the diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukosis.
The child first developed this illness almost three years ago (when he was 4). His body temperature began to spike randomly, he became sluggish; this went on for a whole month. Then his condition suddenly deteriorated: lymph nodes in his neck became enlarged, his cheek on the right side swell up. We immediately consulted an oncologist regarding lymph node enlargement. An examination conducted in the beginning of February 2011 revealed hyperleukocytosis. We were hospitalized at the oncology department of the Children’s Clinical Hospital of the Republic. After a month of treatment by Glivek (Imatinib) we were released, but in June hospitalized again. The doctors discovered blast cells at 52% rate. Bone marrow examination revealed 54% of blast cells…
By the end of that year it was clear a bone marrow transplantation surgery was necessary. We applied for assistance from several charitable foundations. It is so great this world still has people who care! One of the foundations sent us to the Hadassah hospital – a large medical center in Jerusalem that had successfully performed bone marrow transplant procedures for many years already to help the children with the same condition.
First consults took place over the phone. We sent all the documents (local doctors’ conclusions, hospitalization records, examination findings, lab reports and so on) to the medical experts of iMER by e-mail; iMER is a service that coordinates treatment for international patients. We received the approval for treatment very quickly, but there were many obstacles ahead: repeated flare-ups of the deserve, inability to find a matching donor… It was over a year and a half since the first hospitalization; meanwhile we had another child, a daughter. And fortunately, the sister, our savior, turned out to be an 80% match! Dr Polina Stepensky said it was possible to have bone marrow transplant then, and they began preparing our child for the transplantation procedure.
This was a year ago. Now the bone marrow transplantation is behind us; our child goes through rehabilitation and is under observation following the transplant procedure. Israeli doctors don’t just observe him, they also give advice to our local doctors. We have all the medications, everything the child needs, but most importantly – we have constant care and attention of the doctors and medical staff of the Hadassah MC, as well as iMER coordinators. Without their help the foundation would never be able to send us so quick for such an effective treatment!