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12-year-old boy cured of sickle cell disease after stem cell transplant: “I started crying”

a young boy in a blue shirt: Mike Dickburnd / Riley's Child Health

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Mike Dickburnd / Riley Child Health

A 12-year-old boy from Indiana gets a new life after a stem cell transplant cures his blood disease.

Ever since he was born, Elliott Preddy has been battling sickle cell disease, a group of inherited blood diseases that causes a deficiency of healthy red blood cells.

The condition ̵

1; which can lead to frequent infections, pain, stunted growth and vision problems – has led Elliott to miss activities enjoyed by other children his age.

young boy in a blue shirt:

© Mike Dickbernd / Riley Children’s Health
“He has energy and endurance like he never had,” Eliot Preddy’s mother said of her son’s recovery from a stem cell transplant last year.

“When I was younger, I played a lot of sports, but then I got too cold from my sickle cell,” Elliott told WWL-TV.

“That’s why I started quitting all my sports. Baseball and football,” Elliott said as he sat on his back porch next to his family.

“He just couldn’t enjoy life as a child,” added his mother, Tremesha Preddy.

But a year after receiving a stem cell transplant at Riley Children’s Hospital at Indiana University, doctors say Elliott is free of the disease.

“It was a huge sigh of relief,” Tremesha told the hospital. “We shed a few tears for sure.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, bone marrow and stem cell transplants are the only cure for sickle cell disease. But procedures come with risks and can lead to serious side effects. They can even lead to death.

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standing man: Mike Dickburnd / Riley Elliott Preddy's Child Health

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Mike Dickbernd / Riley Children’s Health Elliot Preddie

Elliott received a stem cell transplant from an adult cousin, although the hospital notes that the best donors are siblings. However, Elliott’s younger brother, Carter, was also diagnosed with sickle cell disease.

“We were released from the hospital after 37 days,” Tremesha said of his son’s recovery from the transplant. “You have to wait for the immune system to restart before they can actually test it. The first test showed that the bone marrow, when it grew, was a 100 percent donor brain. None of its sickle cell marrow survived. what we want. “

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“When we got these results, I somehow lost them,” she added. “It was finally real and confirmed that everything he went through and my husband and I went through on his behalf was worth it.”

Dr. Seatal Jacob, director of the Riley Sickle Cell Program, said doctors were worried that Elliott would eventually develop complications from chronic blood transfusions, so it was decided that he would receive a stem cell transplant.

“When we first made the recommendation for a transplant, it was because we knew that without it, he would need chronic blood transfusions for the rest of his life,” Jacob said. “We were worried when he started developing antibodies to the blood products he was receiving.”

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According to the CDC, sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the United States. But the disorder largely affects blacks or African Americans, which occurs in one in every 500 births. It also affects one in every 36,000 Hispanic births.

Tremesha told the hospital that when she saw Elliott playing in their lawn sprayer, she knew the transplant was done.

“He couldn’t do that before because the cold water would hurt,” she said. “And now he goes out and plays in the sprayer for hours. The first time he did, I started crying. He has energy and endurance like he never had.”

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