LOGAN — One year after a life-saving bone marrow transplant (BMT), nine-year-old Madison Maynard is recovering and happy. She underwent the life-saving transplant on Oct. 7, 2011, after being treated at West Virginia University (WVU), then transferred to Childrens Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Madison suffers from aplastic anemia and her bone marrow could not produce red and white blood cells or platelets. This condition caused extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, suseptiblility to illness and a very high risk of bleeding. She has undergone 11 bone marrow biopsies, PICC line insertion, broviac line insertion, port placement, multiple blood and platelet transfusions, chemo, full body radiation and the BMT.
Pediatric BMT procedures were critical for Madison, but were not available at WVU. She was transferred to Childrens Hospital where they scheduled the procedure to be performed. She underwent chemotherapy and had full body radition to prepare for the transplant. Doctors warned the family Madison could suffer all of the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy including loss of appetite and hair, but she only had one night of nausea and discomfort.
Currently a fourth grade student, Madison is not yet able to attend school. She is still immunocompromised and on anti-rejection medications. Once she is weaned from the medications and revaccinated (required for school), she can go back. The vaccinations will be administered, then blood will have to be drawn to see how the live vaccine reacts in her body. The non-related bone marrow transplant literally changed Madison. Both her DNA and blood type changed.
Madison talked about her experience, “It was very difficult to go through this, but it was worth it because when it is all over, I will be a normal, healthy girl. I miss my friends and going to school, but I know why I had to go through this. I have great doctors and nurses and lots of family and friends who love and support me. Even though I had to have this, some kids are worse off than me. If anyone ever has to have a BMT, it is an IV and looks kind of like blood that goes in your veins and finds it way to the back. It is so easy that while I was having mine, me and my nurse done our nails!”
In September, Madison had her one-year check up. She has 100 percent donor cells in her bone marrow and they are working at 60 percent cellularity (which is excellent). Her doctors say she is in the top three percent for patients who have undergone this procedure. Madison still faces some some tests and procedures, but all indications are positive in her recovery.
Madison is the daughter of Heather Bryant and Steve Bryant, granddaughter of David and Kim Moore, and great-granddaughter of Bill and Lois Bailey and Zane and Fannie Moore.
According to the family, this experience has made them appreciate the little things in life more. It also made them aware of how much people cared for them.
Madison’s grandmother Kim Moore, said, “It showed us that even though there are so many negative things in this world, there are still a lot of good people who love us and we were reminded of that daily. Although it was extremely hard being away for such a long time and missing our family, it also brought us closer together at the same time. We thank God for all he has done for us, because without him and his guidance, I do not think her outcome would have been as good.”
During her hospitalization, Madison received many gifts, cards, messages and love from area churches, girl scouts, youth groups, her class from Verdunville Elementary, teachers and wonderful friends. Madison and her family were overwhelmed with the prayers and friends who were following her.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone,” said Moore, “It was your prayers, love and support that strengthened us. Also we offer our sincere thanks to her doctors in Logan, Dr. Ahmed, Dr. Kanuri and Dr. Sheikh, that worked closely with her oncologist at the Children’s Hospital. Thanks to the staff at Logan Regional Medical Center, who took care of Madison during her transfusions, blood draws and visits.”
The family has not been able to contact the donor, who they do know is a woman they will never be able to thank enough.