A Brother’s Love
Friday July 26th Update. To see How Maggie and Lucas are doing as of Thursday, July 25th Day +1, Click here
I want you to meet my new hero… Lucas Rudnicki from Levant! Lucas is 7 years old, and most children that age are afraid of needles and doctors. Heck, I really don’t like doctors, and despite, or maybe because of numerous surgeries, I don’t like needles.
You see, Lucas is a bone marrow donor for his sister, Maggie.
Maggie’s story started at 8:49 am on Tuesday August 19th, 2008. After a long 9 months full of ups and downs (including a cystic hygroma, a CVS test, and tons of ultrasounds and fetal echocardiograms) we welcomed our little girl into our lives and fell completely in love. She seemed perfectly healthy at birth, weighing in at 6 lbs, 5 oz and pink as could be. She was given a clean bill of health and 3 days later we came home to settle into a routine with Maggie and her 2 big brothers.
4 weeks later Maggie came down with a cold, I decided to call our pediatrician when almost a week had gone by and she still wasn’t better. I figured I was being overly paranoid, but better safe than sorry. We got to the doctor’s and realized she had hardly gained any weight, she had a heart murmor and her doctor thought she looked pretty pale. He decided to send us for bloodwork that night to be sure everything was okay and 2 hours later I got a phone call that changed everything. Her doctor told us that Maggie’s labs were pretty alarming and we needed to get her to the ER, we knew it was bad when he told us we needed to call 911 as she needed to go via ambulance. When we got to the hospital we found out she had a hemoglobin level of 3 (a normal hemoglobin starts around 11, a 3 is an extremely critical blood count). She was admitted to the PICU and a couple hours later received her first blood transfusion. She ended up getting 3 transfusions during her first stay in the hospital and now receives a blood transfusion about every 2-3 weeks.
Maggie was officially diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anemia after a bone marrow biopsy showed no red cells being made in her marrow. She also has tested positive for the RPS 19 gene mutation that is the most common gene mutation found thus far in DBA patients.
Diamond Blackfan Anemia is a rare life threatening disorder, affecting only about 750 people in the world. People with Diamond Blackfan can not make enough red blood cells needed to survive. It is usually diagnosed in infancy and has no cure.
Lucas told his Mom “Mommy I’m so happy that my blood will help Maggie not need needles anymore, because I don’t like when she cries.” What a brave boy! Here he is the night before he went to donate his bone marrow, Tuesday, July 23, 2013
This is Lucas, yesterday, as he was waiting to go into the OR, for the donation
And this my friends is what a hero looks like, as Lucas recovers from his donation
At 1:06 PM, July 24th Lucas’ cells entered Maggie’s body. It will take about 2 hours for them all to infuse. The nurses and doctors are counting the drips. Amazing. Witnessing a miracle today!
And this is what’s going to give new life to little Maggie
Maggie and Lucas, a bond that will never be broken
The Rudnicki family has given me permission to use these pictures, and I’ll keep you updated on the story. Needless to say, prayers are most welcome! If you want to follow the story, you can visit this website