Condition: Aplastic Anemia
City, State: Indianapolis, IN
Club: Eastbrook Elementary School Sparrow Club Service Hours:
Date Adopted: 4/13/2015
Connor's Story:Back on December 12th, after several weeks of strange bruises, weird skin coloring and low energy, Connor's blood levels were finally tested. He was immediately admitted to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital for further testing and by the next day, the doctors were pretty sure he did not have leukemia, but more likely a bone marrow disorder. Since then, he's had to get and give lots of blood! More importantly, he's had to stay away from germs. The bone marrow disorder he has is called Aplastic Anemia. Inside your bones is a spongy tissue called bone marrow. Your bone marrow contains cells called stem cells. The stem cells grow and mature into 3 types of blood cells. Red blood cells (they carry oxygen); white blood cells (the fight infections); and platelets (they help blood clot). When the bone marrow "factory" doesn't work, your body doesn't get any of the cells it needs. On January 2nd, Connor got the news that his older brother Cobey is a match if he needs a bone marrow transplant. Soon it was decided that this was in fact the best route to take. Getting a bone marrow transplant means your body will be given all new, healthy bone marrow to "restart" the factory that isn't working. Connor was admitted into the Riley Children's Hospital and prepared for a transplant on February 7th. A week later on Valentine's Day, Cobey joined Connor there and had a quick procedure to harvest his bone marrow which was then giving to Connor! It took Cobey's body approximately one month to rejuvenate the donated marrow but there were little to no side effects from this procedure. It only took a few hours to give Connor the bone marrow and was similar to getting blood or platelets. The long haul was helping Connor's body recover from the chemo and waiting for the stem cells to "latch on" or become engrafted. As this process continues to happen, he'll have fewer and fewer transfusions each week and begin to get his energy back. The family hopes this continues to go quickly, but have been told to plan on 5-8 weeks in the hospital and then many more weeks in isolation at home. A very sterile healthy environment is going to be important to Connor avoiding germs, bacteria, and anything else his body will have hard time fighting off. The doctors continue to remind us that the best way to stop the spread of germs is to wash your hands all the time.
The Sheehan Family The Sheehan Family