Kristen Wins Over Aplastic Anaemia With Her Sister’s Stem Cells

stem cell stories

Kristen battles off Aplastic Anaemia at Mayo Clinic-Rochester campus , with bone marrow –stem cell transplant from her sister.

Kristen Soley was a mother of seven; fate took an ugly turn in her life, as she was suddenly diagnosed with Aplastic Anaemia, a rare type of bone marrow disease that damages haemopoietic stem cells , that would thereby stop to synthesize, new blood cells.

Aplastic Anaemia posed its victims with a high risk of infections and uncontrolled bleeding. The onset of this condition is generally sudden and its symptoms can be exhibited at any age of life.

The only symptomatic manifestations Kristen witnessed were swollen feet and bruised ankles. Kristen and her husband Nate took medical shelter under Mayo clinic’s Rochester Campus, Minnesota.

At Mayo’s clinic, batteries of the test were done and the doctors left no stone unturned in terms of diagnostic testing. Finally, Kristen’s diagnosis was confirmed and the treatment plan was outlined.

Kristen was hospitalized for a span of 2 weeks and a series of blood transfusions were administered till her body resumed making new blood cells. Subsequently, a drug named anti-thrombocyte globulin was given through intravenous infusion. But, all to her surprise the infusion of thrombocyte globulin therapy proved ineffective.

The next line of treatment option left for Kristen was an infusion of healthy stem cells through a bone marrow transplant. The doctors explained to Kristen’s family that infusion of healthy stem cells could replace her diseased and damaged bone marrow.

The medical faculty began to look for donor compatibility for Kristen. Fortunately, out of her three siblings, her sister’s sample happened to be the closest match for her. After a week of preparation, the procedure of bone marrow transplant was successfully done.

However, as her progress was consistent, Kristen developed acute GvHD  (Graft versus Host disease) as her body began to view the infused stem cells as a foreign body and attack them. After she was treated for a couple of days at Mayo’s clinic, Kristen overcame the illness .The doctors also boosted her medication intake to prevent other infections, which were caused due to suppressed immune response.

Kristen is whole now and is immensely thankful to her sister for selflessly donating her stem cells which came to her rescue. She also says she is optimistic about her future because now her body is creating its own blood cells through the bone marrow transplant of stem cells.

If you want to know more about stem cell preservation and its benefits with a lifetime of reserves for your baby, read here:

Photography credits “Tina Fischer”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here