By Winter Johnson, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Michele Hyndman, Stanford Blood Center A month before her 14th birthday in November 2011, Taylor was enjoying a normal teenage life in Watsonville, Calif., when she was hit with sudden, flu-like symptoms that turned into vomiting blood. She was...
On June 6, 2011, Melissa and her husband, Tim, and 3-year-old son, Flynn, welcomed twin boys, Keane and Hayes, into their family. Melissa's pregnancy and delivery had been normal. The twins were healthy and together weighed over 14 pounds which is considered big for twins. After a typical recovery period, Melissa went home to care for her family. "To me, my family was perfect and complete," she said.
Casey Rockey was born with supravalvular aortic stenosis, a rare heart condition that causes a narrowing of his aortic valve at the opening. He required beta blockers for a year to manage his stenosis and tachycardia and, at age three and a half, it was time for open-heart surgery.
In 1989, just six months after marrying my young bride, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. My wife and I were thrust into the world of cancer, and we watched our hopes and dreams shatter in an instant. At twenty-six years of age, I was told by doctors at the City of Hope National Medical Center that my prognosis was "poor." But after nearly a year and a half of intensive chemotherapy, brain radiation, bone marrow biopsies and countless other procedures, I emerged on the other side of my disease, in remission and thankful for the blessing of each new day.
As Jennifer Flowers sat in a hospital bed on January 8, 2010, she would have much rather been on a beach on one of the tropical islands she preferred to frequent. Walking through the surf on a sandy beach in Hawaii, the Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua, Bermuda, or Jamaica during one of her vacations was her idea of living. But that day, she was receiving a bone marrow transplant at Stanford Hospital that would keep her alive.
Mike Wu was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) in January, 2003, after complain- ing to his doctor about persistent abdominal pain. It was one week before his wed- ding. He began taking a laundry list of prescribed medications that compromised his immune system; he lost about 30 pounds. He and his fiance, Jennifer, postponed the wedding so Mike could get better.
Pulmonary hypertension, overriding aorta, and pulmonary atresia are a few of the health obstacles in little Maddie's life. She has undergone 11 procedures, including three open-heart surgeries, to correct her cardiovascular defects and has received the lifesaving gift of blood with each of her surgeries.
I will never forget how stunned I was when I got an email from Karen on March 5, 2009 to announce her sons arrival. It started "Quinn Frederick Bossow was born on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, he is in extremely critical condition at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital." I immediately visited the blog she had created to keep family and friends updated on his condition.