Nathaniel’s mum Michelle remembers jokingly asking about the possibility of a bone marrow transplant with Dr. Wright around the time when he was five. But Dr. Wright managed her expectations, explaining that the science wasn’t quite there yet and even though ACH was renowned for transplanting oncology patients, a BMT for this condition was still a few years off. Thankfully, at the end of last year, under the guidance of Dr. Wright and transplant Oncologist Dr. Tony Truong, BMT finally became an option for Nathaniel and the work up for transplant began. Unfortunately he was too sick to undergo the rigorous work up and it had to be postponed. This was stressful for the family, because the best success of transplant in this type of patient happens before the age of ten. Nathaniel was nine, and he was getting sicker, more often and time was of the essence. The decision was made that they truly couldn’t wait any longer and they proceeded with transplant even though he wasn’t 100% recovered from his infections.
As of the beginning of December, Nathaniel was just days away from Day 100 – a huge BMT milestone. He is fully engrafted with this donor cells (from an anonymous donor) and besides a bit of stir-craziness from being cooped up during recovery, he is doing amazing. He will be on immune suppressing drugs and protective isolation for around six months. Michelle says now that he is on the road to being healthy, they can hopefully start to concentrate more on his communication and getting him caught up at school.