Hi! My name is Kellany Bailey and I wanted to share my story with you guys!
I am now 21 years old but when I was about 16 my parents had noticed bruising all over my legs, at the time I was playing volleyball so we didn’t think much of it. Things got alarming for my parents when I started bruising from a simple high five. After being diagnosed with what we thought was ITP I got a splenectomy that did not fix my problem. We tried other treatments that still didn’t seem to work and by now my doctor had me get a bone marrow biopsy, after thinking they got a bad sample with no marrow, I had to go get another one done… with still not much marrow retrieved but enough to know I did not have a blood cancer thankfully, I was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. This is a disease where your bone marrow essentially dies and stops producing all blood cells. Sadly no one in my family was a match, but I was so lucky to have someone out there who in fact was a perfect match! After a month and some change spent in the hospital I now had working bone marrow with blood cells now on my body! I have in fact been in contact with my donor somewhat and I am thankful for him everyday! My bone marrow took place just days after my high school graduation, June 12, 2013.
After getting back out and hanging out with friends and loved ones it wasn’t long until I noticed I was having problems breathing. I was admitted to the hospital eventually and diagnosed with RSV as well as pneumonia. Shortly after I was actually diagnosed with GVHD. GVHD can happen after a bone marrow transplant and usually appears in the form of a skin rash or soars in the mouth. GVHD is when the donors cells realize they are not in their normal place and they attack the persons body, in my case it was my lungs.
At this point, I was told I would be needing a double lung transplant and I went through testing to be placed on the list. I was attached to oxygen 24/7 and basically lived on the couch for a little over a year. When I wasn’t at the hospital for doctors appoints I was at home.
I’m lucky to have a big family who cares for me as much as mine does, thanks to them it was hard to feel alone when I had felt abandoned by friends, but I realized just because my life was on pause I was lucky to be given this extra time and to appreciate every second of it.