In May of 2018 after noticing some unusual bruising and having some blood work done, it was determined that Nicholas had a dangerously low platelet count (platelets help the blood clot when there is an injury) and it was initially diagnosed as a minor condition that would be corrected with steroids, transfusions, and other medications .More diagnostic tests were done, including a bone marrow biopsy, and that is when it was determined that Nicholas has a very rare chromosomal disorder that has caused his bone marrow to fail at producing platelets. His condition is called Myelodysplastic Syndrome and the only treatment is to receive a bone marrow/stem cell transplant. We were fortunate to find the best of the best at UT Southwestern William Clements Hospital, where Dr Patel and her medical team have carefully laid a plan for his treatment, care, and recovery.
Dr Patel allowed him to return to school this past fall so that he would not be too far behind with his college classes and he was cared for by a Hematologist and medical team at Seton Medical System in Austin where he recieved weekly blood work and transfusions. Nicholas was able to work hard with his classes (got a 4.0!), enjoy some UT Football;(#hookem!) enjoy many fraternity and social events with his Sig Ep brothers as well as his good friends from high school when home in Dallas.
In January Nicholas will be going in for treatment, a difficult journey involving several days of chemotherapy to clear his bone marrow, which will then be followed by an infusion of stem cells from a donor who is a 100% match through the “Be The Match” donor organization (Mathew was tested and willing to be a donor however, he was only a 50% match). We are so greatful to the stranger from Germany who is willing to donate the gift of life. Our family will make it our personal mission to spread the word of the importance of becoming a donor and in fact, our niece Valerie Nicole; as well as Mathew have already registered as donors.
Nicholas will remain in the hospital for 4-5 weeks to recover and wait for his bone marrow to graft with donor stem cells and for his immune system to rebuild to a level safe for him to be discharged. Unfortunately during that time in the hospital, he will not be able to have visitors or flowers due the risk of exposure to infection. Any cards, texts, emails, well wishes,balloons, and prayers are welcome and will help keep his spirits up during this long journey. He will return home for another three months to recover and regain his strength so that he is ready to go back to Austin and resume life back as a college student to pursue a political science degree with a future plan for law school. We are so incredibly proud of Nicholas’s attitude and quiet strength through this life challenge, he’s been through more over these last few months then we could ever describe physically and emotionally. We are so greatful for our family and friends that have rallied behind us to handle this “ pretty big bump in the road”, and we can never express our gratitude of some of the incredible things that have been done for us during this last six months, as well as the upcoming next six months. We will update Nicholas’s progress through his treatment and recovery through this caring bridge site and we welcome any comments and well wishes you would like to include. We thank you all for your love and support! Karrie,Bret, Nicholas, Mathew & Mike the dog