Zachary Miller

Zach's story starts in December of 2009 when he was 5 years old.  Zach had been having some pretty bad nose bleeds and when we took a family trip to Florida we noticed he had a funny rash.  I decided we should get the nose bleeds checked out and I took him to his primary care doctor.  They said it was probably just dry air.  So fast forward to April 1 of 2010 - April Fool's Day.  I received a call from DCFS.  His day care teacher turned us in to DCFS because of the bruising on his legs.  I called Scott and we had to pick up Zach at day care and immediately take him to the Emergency Room and DCFS would meet us there.  We got Zach checked in and the DCFS employee was interviewing me in another room.  One of the nurses came running in and said Zach's platelets counts were dangerously low.  Luckily the doctor examining him recognized the rash on him as petechiae and new there was a problem with platelets so she had them check his blood.  His platelets were only 8,000 (normal count should at least be 140,000).  It was bittersweet.  DCFS dropped their investigation but our little boy was very sick.  He was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia - his bone marrow quit working.  The next couple months was full of getting platelet and blood transfusions.  The his hematologist got Zach into a study at NIH in Baltimore in July that year.  The doctors were testing Rabbit and Horse antigen by wiping out the immune system and then adding the antigen.  Zach got the horse antigen and we were at NIH for 10 days during Zach's treatment.  After the treatment, they tested his blood and his red and white cells were back to normal levels, however his platelets were not.  The doctors deemed his trial treatment a failure.