In March 2008, with only four months and a half, my son Alejandro was admitted in the Alcázar de San Juan Hospital with a bilateral pneumonia. There, the paediatricians took hundreds of tests because they didn't believe it was just pneumonia. They discharged us in Spring Break and told us we had to come back for the results on Monday. They told us his Immunoglobulin was low and that we had to be admitted again to confirm the results. That afternoon they told us it was confirmed and that they were going to talk to the Immunology Service at La Paz Hospital to prepare the transfer.
Four days later they were telling us that my son had Combined Severe Immunodeficiency Syndrome and that the only treatment was a bone marrow transplant. From that day on our nightmare began, our fight, our union and also our faith and hope.
We started to spread information so that all of our friends would become donors and that is how the great chain for Alejandro began. Some people told others, and those others told more people. I am sure that that year the number of donors rose. My sister was pregnant of a boy that was born with the same illness. So we both spent the same months at La Paz Hospital. Nonetheless, that is a story that my sister will tell you about some other day.
Until that moment we were happy. We had a beautiful family (Lucía, two and a half years old, and Alejandro). We had moved to another house and at work everything was going great and, suddenly, we found ourselves in this situation.
On May 21st they did the umbilical cord blood transplant and from that day we began fighting against bacilli, diarrhoea, malnutrition... but always with a smile. He spent almost one month at the ICU fighting like a champion. And when he got out once again: bacilli, diarrhoea, malnutrition... and that look on his face which asked us to don't give up on him.
On December 15th we were discharged, after 9 months, and on January 7th, 2009 we came back home. Alejandro was almost 15 months old and he only weighed 5,5kg. and he didn't know how to sit down or stand up. He didn't know how to eat. Lucía asked us to put his cradle in her room, she didn't want to separate from his brother (they still sleep together and don't want to separate).
Now Alejandro is a happy boy, he goes to school, loves running and fighting against Captain Hook and when he grows up he wants to be a veterinarian and a carpenter. He has normal lymphocytes ant the Igs are raising. If everything continues this way, in 6 months he will be cured.
I want to express 3 things:
- My son is alive thanks to the generosity of a donor.
- The path is hard but you can reach the end of it.
- None of us are safe from needing the generosity of someone else, which is why we have to be the first to give
Montse (Alejandro's mom)
If you want more information about the donation of bone marrow to help people like Alejandro (and many other patients) to have the opportunity of a cure, click HERE. Remember that the donation of bone marrow is altruistic, anonymous, and universal. If you register as a bone marrow donor, you could be making a donation to a person from anywhere in the world. If you want more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on our free phone number (in Spain) 900 32 33 34.
You could also become a member of the José Carreras Foundation. With a little amount you could help us to continue our research.