Savannah's Bone Marrow Transplant
$20,163 of $19,500 goal
I need your help for my daughter Savannah with expenses that will be incurred due to her upcoming bone marrow transplant.
My first born daughter Savannah McKenzie Goodman was born with a compromised immune system, she has Severe Combined Immune Deficiency, SCID. Her body has no natural ability to fight off infections.
Since Savannah was a young girl she has spent a large portion of her life in and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices, and has had to self-administer weekly and sometimes twice weekly subcutaneous IV immunoglobulin therapy treatments to give her the working components of an immune system. This has helped her live her life like most of us. Savannah has been attending college at Duke University to become a pediatric immunologist, to help children growing up with the same struggles she’s had. Recently her immune system has taken a turn for the worse and these treatments are no longer going to be enough. Her doctor at Duke University has told her she must have a bone marrow transplant and that she needs to be prepared for the fight of her life. It will start with a grueling round of intense chemotherapy, followed by the bone marrow transplant. Savannah will have to be in isolation for a minimum of 3 months and will not be allowed to have any physical contact with anyone for quite some time. She will not have any means of covering even the most basic of living expenses as she will not be able to work during this time period.
Your gift or contribution can greatly help my daughter in her time of need. I'm reaching out to all my friends and family to join me in helping assist Savannah in covering her not only medical costs, but also basic needs during this battle, ie: food, rent, and keeping the lights on. Having these necessities covered will allow Savannah to focus on the challenges of fighting the biggest battle of her life. Any donation you can give will be a blessing and we thank you for your help. If you aren’t able to financially assist Savannah, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I ask that you share this post on your Facebook to spread the word with your friends and family that might be able to help.
Thank you so much, Robert Goodman.
Savannah always rallied in the face of difficult situations. In early December, it became apparent to some that she might lose the battle she spent her entire life fighting. She accomplished so much. A few weeks ago I rushed to North Carolina in fears she was leaving us, and she smiled her beautiful smile and said "It's just a little setback". I never stopped believing she would pull through. As I watched her struggle to breathe just a few hours before her last breath, I knew she wasn’t going to make it. But my heart never stopped believing. On behalf of my family, I would like to take a moment and thank friends and family for all of your support and prayers through this difficult time.
To my first born daughter Savannah, I love you unconditionally. I always have, and I always will.
Over the last two weeks, Savannah has consistently been doing better day by day, and finally yesterday they are starting the process of slowly waking her up. Her body has definitely engrafted (accepted the new bone marrow), and she might open her eyes today. She will still be highly sedated for a while, but everything is looking positive. She could potentially be out of ICU within the week, and moved back to the BMT unit.
We are so happy and relieved, and I want to thank all of you for sharing Savannah's story, helping her financially, and praying for her recovery. Fundraising continues to be important as the recovery will be very lengthy. Please continue to spread the word. We appreciate every penny, and every prayer.
Thank you all.
Currently Savannah is in ICU and is intubated. The past few days have been very difficult. This has been a bit of a set-back, since there has been positive news earlier in the week.
This past Wednesday, September 7th, Savannah had her 1st day of engraftment. This is a really big event as engraftment is when the new stem cells establish themselves in Savannah’s bone marrow and begin to make new blood cells. Part of the engraftment process involves the patient feeling discomfort and pain. Savannah’s numbers on her blood draws from last Sunday and Monday night did show she was starting to make new cells, but not enough to be considered engraftment. On Wednesday she had fantastic numbers and had day 1 of engraftment. Thursday morning was even better, her ANC tripled and we had one more day to wait for it to be official.
Then came Friday. At midnight, Savannah officially engrafted! The transplant was successful, her cells are growing. This is a major event, but it was followed by a huge set-back. At 1:30 am Savannah had to be moved to ICU. She had mentioned to me that her breathing was becoming an issue, and had been hooked up to oxygen for several days, but her levels really dropped. She also had blood in her lungs. The doctors saw several different possibilities for this. Either Savannah’s cells were growing too fast for her body to keep up or she had an infection in her lungs and now that she has an immune system they attacked the heck out of it and caused the bleeding. They moved her from taking oxygen, to a ventilator. Savannah was intubated. She underwent a bronchoscopy. Then they moved her from the ventilator to an oscillator which is better for her lungs. On Saturday the doctors placed medicine directly into her lungs. The pulmonologist said that there was no blood, no mucus and her airways were completely clear. This is good news. Savannah will undergo this again today. She is completely medically sedated and will be asleep for at least two weeks, and on a drug to prevent her from moving. Savannah will also be on the oscillator for two weeks. She will stay in ICU for this entire process. She will be monitored the the BMT team during this process as well.
When her numbers start to look better, the doctors will move her to the ventilator and take her off of the drug that prevents movement. Then they will slowly remove the sedation and then take the breathing tube out. She will remain in ICU for at least a week after that and then return to the bone marrow transplant wing to finish recuperating.
It has been a very difficult couple of days. If I know anything about Savannah, it’s that she will be fine and come out of this as strong woman with a new immune system, something she has never had in her life.
Fundraising is more important than ever. Please help spread the word. We appreciate every penny, and every prayer.
Thank you all.
Over the last two weeks Savannah received high doses of chemotherapy to eliminate the bone marrow she had left to make room for the new marrow transplant. Yesterday new stem cells were put into Savannah intravenously, similar to the IVIG treatments she's been doing for years, or if you aren't familiar with that, you can compare it to a blood transfusion.
It is now when the most difficult part begins. The outcome we are hoping for is that the stem cells will find their way to the bone and start to grow and produce more cells. This is called engraftment. There is a risk that serious problems can occur during the time that the bone marrow is very low. Infections are common, as is anemia, and low platelets in the blood can that cause dangerous bleeding internally.
Savannah will receive blood transfusions to treat these problems while they are waiting for the new stem cells to start growing. During this process she will be in isolation, and contact with her will be very limited.
She will probably experiencing extreme discomfort for the next several months, though now she is only experiencing headaches. We won't know how her body is reacting to the new cells for at least four to six weeks, but it will be a much longer wait to know if this is the life changing procedure the doctors are hoping for.
I do know that if anyone can come through this with a positive attitude and a great outlook on life, Savannah can. Then she can get back on the path to continuing with her education at Duke, and her dream of being a pediatric immunologist, and helping people born with primary immune deficiencies, like herself.
We ask for your continued prayers, and help in sharing this story and donating to help Savannah get through the financial burdens this upcoming isolation period and the following home recovery are placing on our family. I want you to know how much the support we've gotten means to us, and thank you all once again.
My heart goes out to Savannah and her family. May god heal her quickly!
There is no donor yet, but Duke is using the national registry to find one.