Posted: May 17, 2012
For some parents the decision to bank their newborn’s cord blood stem cells is a difficult one. But not for one mother of five, Sandy Chang, who recounts the terrible night that her son, Titus, had to be rushed to the hospital for an uncontrollable nose bleed. What followed was months of hospital visits, transfusions, and bad news from doctors. As soon as Sandy became pregnant with her second son, she knew exactly what to do, and a cord blood stem cell transplant from Titus’ brother helped bring health and happiness to the family. CBR provided free banking services to the Chang family for their second child under the Newborn Possibilities Program because of their pre-existing medical need. Read on to learn more about the Changs’ amazing story.
If I did not make the life-saving decision to bank your brother’s cord blood at birth, you would probably not be here today. When you were 18 months old you started bruising very easily.
Late one evening, you had a bloody nose that would not stop. Blood not only came out of both nostrils; it was also draining out through your mouth.
Your father and I rushed you to the hospital and as we waited in the emergency room, your lips became very pale from loss of so much blood. Your blood had soaked a large bath towel and you no longer had the strength to cry. What I thought was a simple nose bleed turned out to be our worst nightmare. You were diagnosed with aplastic anemia. It’s a rare blood disorder found primarily in elderly people and related to the cancer family. Moments later, you were rushed to the nearest Children’s Hospital.
I demanded that they discharge you immediately because I couldn’t believe any of it was real. I can still remember the words out of the doctor’s mouth, “He’ll die if you leave.”
Within a few days of being discharged, I noticed your skin color was becoming pale again. You were no longer full of energy.
For the next 15 months, we visited the Children’s Hospital for red blood cells and platelet transfusions at least three times a week. Doctors said that the more transfusions, the more likely it was that iron build-up inside your body would cause liver failure.
I was willing to do anything for you, but all the money and treasures of the world could not make you better. Doctors estimated a life expectancy of less than 10 years.
Months later, I became pregnant by surprise. Deciding to bank your brother’s umbilical cord blood stem cells was the best choice I’ve ever made and the reason you are alive and well today. Your story is unbelievable, but the scars on your chest are living proof. You are now 10 years old, healthy, happy and 100 percent cured.
All My Love, Faith and Hope,