Life After Transplant
Jasmine had her transplant in June of 2014. We had all of our children tested to see if any of them were a match for her. Christopher was the one who matched her perfectly, right down to the same blood type.
We had at least two counseling sessions with SCCA and multiple tests to see where she was before the transplant so they could compare how she was doing after the transplant. The entire family was well informed of the process and the chances for success (90%) and any and everything that could go wrong. Jasmine was very strong but she was definitely scared. As parents we did our best to stay strong around her so that she would not have to worry about us and herself.
We checked into the hospital and a nine day course of chemo started about three days later. They needed to make sure her white and red counts were high enough for transplant. They also gave her medicine to combat some of the side effects of the chemo drugs. After the nine days of chemo her brother was admitted and taken into surgery to harvest the marrow. After they strained it and took out any bone fragments they hooked it up to her just like a blood transfusion and it was done after about an hour or so. Everything went as they said with one major hiccup, Jasmine had GVHD in her gut. It was not so bad at the hospital and it was under control up until she was taken off of one of her immunosuppressant medications after she was released. She had to go back to the hospital in February of 2015 because of this and it was pretty bad (she could have lost her life). She was vomiting and had diarrhea for about two weeks straight. She could not eat anything and ended up anorexic. We were very scared but she pulled through beautifully. She is still in recovery so to speak but she goes to school everyday and will be a freshman in High school next year with her brother Chris who will be a Junior. She recently was given the award for student of the year for Lakota Middle School and has done exceptionally well.
If there is any other parent out there thinking of doing this I will tell them to be very sure that you and your child are ready and willing to go through this. It is not easy to watch your child go through this but I would not do a thing different. I wholeheartedly believe that this procedure saved her life and we thank God everyday that we were able to do this for her.
The side effects were nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, itching, loss of appetite, dry skin, loss of hair, mood swings, and graft versus host disease. Jasmine had all of them, the worst was the GVHD, because it could have killed her.
Graft versus host is when your body fight off the marrow. It attacked her in the gut, but in others it could be in your eyes, on your skin, or in your throat.
Her brother is doing fine and he had no side effects. He does not feel any different, and he was not scared. He only wanted to do this for his sister and nothing else mattered.
By: Keisha McCray