Kyle’s life was forever changed when he received a second chance of life, undergoing a bone marrow stem cell transplant.
Kyle was originally diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP) but years later he was told he had developed Aplastic Anaemia and then Fanconi Anaemia. His condition deteriorated rapidly and he was dependent on regular blood and platelet transfusions. His only hope was a bone marrow stem cell transplant. Fortunately for Kyle a perfect match was found in Germany. Kyle was admitted to hospital to begin his life saving transplant. After having undergone an extensive pre transplant regime with intensive short doses of Chemotherapy and Auto Immune suppressant drugs for 10 days prior to transplant.
Patients receiving transplants are kept in well controlled isolation units due to a compromised immune system. Despite this, patients are still susceptible to infections and complications. Kyle stayed in this isolation unit for 6 weeks before being transferred to a high care ward for another 5 weeks. Kyle finally left the hospital. But for the next three months, Kyle had to go to the hospital’s Haematology clinic every week for follow up treatment.
Unfortunately, Kyle’s road to recovery post-transplant was not smooth sailing. Complications throughout this period presented the Medical team with some serious challenges. Pneumonia and Lymphoma were some of the more serious complications Kyle had to endure during his stay in Cape Town. From having been reduced to not being able to walk due to all the medication and complications, this amazingly brave, determined and resilient young man used all his strength and determination to pull through.
Kyle was finally discharged and allowed to come back home. He had to be hospitalised recently for another bout of Pneumonia. But he is now well on the road to recovery. He still has an arduous journey ahead as his immune system still needs to develop and mature. His bone marrow, whilst still in a recovery phase, is now working and producing white cells, red cells and platelets as it should. He has now begun a regime to restore his strength, energy and core muscle tone.
During this journey, Kyle and his family met so many wonderful people all with very similar conditions. It is only in such times that one is hit with the severity of the various blood disorders prevalent today.
There are so many people out there undergoing and or needing a gift of life through a bone marrow stem cell transplant. As a result Kyle would really like to make an appeal for bone marrow stem cell donors. Kyle was indeed one of the few fortunate ones in that he was able to find a suitable matching donor from Germany rather quickly. However searching the international registry and the harvesting of stem cells can be an expensive procedure as Medical Aids do not cover this procedure. Finding a suitable donor match internationally is usually not a feasible option for many South Africans. He has been fortunate. Others have not been.
For Kyle Skidmore his stem cell donor in Germany gave him the gift of life for which he and his family will forever be eternally grateful. All that is known was that he was a young adult male, who was a perfect match. For any young man of that age to give this type of gift is amazing and an unselfish act of kindness given to save a life. We need more people like that in this world and in this country in particular.
We will forever be grateful to the medical team for their knowledge, dedication and expertise and they will forever be in our thoughts.
To all those who made donations, those who participated in our fundraising campaign and those who sponsored various items, and there are just too many to mention in such a short article, we are very thankful for your assistance and support in making this possible. There are some truly magnificent people in this world. You have all helped give Kyle his second chance.
A very special thanks to Kyle’s High School for their support and assistance.
The South African Bone Marrow Registry does a wonderful job and with the support of The Sunflower Fund they need your help.