Howard’s Story

Site created on January 24, 2020

Shortly after Christmas 2019, I noticed small, red dots spreading up and down my legs and arms. I found out later these dots are called petechiae. They form when the little capularies under your skin burst open causing a small amount of blood to rise to the surface of the skin. Shortly after noticing this I also discovered that I was bruising more easily. I went to the doctor on January 9, 2019, had some blood work done, and that night I was admitted to the hospital.

My platelet count was down to 4,000. In the normal person they run from 150,000 - 400,000. Platelets are responsible for clotting your blood when you get cut. What followed was 8 days in the hospital where several different tests were done and many diagnoses were kicked around. The one the hematologist finally settled on was Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia. It's a disease where the number of stem cells in your body is affected negatively by your immune system.

Treatment started but I did not respond to anything that was tried. Finally, my hematologist got to see the full report from a bone marrow biopsy I had done, and after conferencing with a hematologist at the University of Minnesota, concluded that I actually have Aplastic Anemia. My stem cells have been killed off for the most part, and the ones that are left are dying.

In order to survive, I need a bone marrow transplant. We are currently looking for a match while I prepare mentally and physically for what is ahead.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Howard Baird

So the good news is I'm most likely going home this Friday, October 16th. YAY!!!!! I've been in the hospital for essentially 3 months--2 months this time, and 1 month before with 2 days in between. Actually, Megan and I were talking the other day and realized I've been hospitalized far more this year than I've been home. The longest I've been home was the 6 weeks between being at Mercy Hospital and coming to the University of Minnesota. Other than that, it's been a week here, and a week there, usually with 2 - 4 weeks of hospitalization in between.

Someone asked what I was going to do when I got home. The first thing I said was I was going to hug my kids. I managed to see them a couple times while here these two weeks, and I miss them incredibly. Beyond that, I don't know. I guess I'll play it by ear. I'll probably take a nap on my couch, play some games on my Xbox, and catch up on all the tv I missed while here.

I want to thank all of you once again for your support, love, prayers, cards, phone calls, food, and everything else. Megan and I are so blessed to have you all rooting for us. Last weekend, the entire Dakotas Annual Conference prayed for us as Bishop Ough prayed for the fixing of appointments. Imagine that. 500 some Dakotas Methodists all praying for me and my family. As painful and difficult as this last year has been, I have never felt more blessed.

Have a great day, all you amazing people. God has blessed you today. Don't waste it.



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