Financier Jason Bradberry was 34 years old when his colleague fell ill and died from a rare blood disease. This forced Jason to become a bone marrow donor and to donate their white blood cells to the unknown man. The story of how donation changed his Outlook on life, was included in the collection by Laura Shroff “Angels on Earth”. The book was published in publishing house “Eksmo”.
- Who died during the Olympics, the coach became an organ donor for four people
- Each of us has a genetic twin
- “The fact that a person voluntarily agrees to donate – this is a manifestation of love of neighbor”
- Four-year-old hero became a bone marrow donor for his brothers
Jason Bradberry thirty-four years, he was senior Vice President of Morgan Stanley. Following the example of his older brother Mark, he was a financier, and this work appealed to him.
A few years ago he heard that the man known in the financial community — someone with whom he was acquainted, though not close, is suffering from an extremely rare blood disease. “His name was Alan, and he had two daughters, says Jason. — He held a high position in the financial industry, but no amount of money would not have helped him”.
The only possible solution, as found by Jason, was the transplantation of stem cells of blood or bone marrow. Jason and mark both agreed to participate in the national organ donation bone marrow Be The Match, hoping to help Alan.
“Five minutes walk to Alan’s office, and me for thirty seconds was tamponirovanie the inner part of the cheeks, recalls Jason. It was no more difficult than donating blood. I walked out of there thinking: “We’re doing a good thing”. In fact, nothing simpler, it could not be”.
Neither Jason nor his brother was not approached for donation. Unfortunately, the donor wasn’t found and Alan died.
However, Jason remained in the database. Periodically he received from Be The Match requests confirmation of his participation in the program and update your contact information. “I particularly on this thought. I just replied that I was still in the program. That’s all.”
It’s been almost three years.
One day, Jason went to Michigan to meet with a client. He went through the security check at the airport when his cell phone rang. A man called from the program Be The Match.
“I thought it was some sort of solicitation,” says Jason.
But it was not about services.
“You approach the patient who needs a potential donor”
Jason reported that he is suitable as a potential donor for the patient who requires a transplant. If he can come to the center and take five vials of blood to confirm suitability for organ donation?
Jason agreed. Few weeks after the tests, he received an email from Be The Match: “You approach the patient who needs a potential donor. If necessary, we will contact you when we’re ready to continue”.
Jason still thought that before the actual donation is still far.
“The letter was official, it was not mentioned about the patient. I have the impression that they will continue to send me an impersonal letter, and the case never comes”.
“A month later, I called again. They still were not sure what I’ll need, but just in case I decided to explore. It was the most thorough medical examination of my life: heart, kidneys, liver — everything. I was told that it is done for my safety, and not for the patient.”
Jason received a certificate of excellent health. Still have the impression that he doesn’t need help. “First, they hardly talked about the patient. I only knew that this man, he’s sixty years old and he lives somewhere in the States. He suffered from myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, which hampered the production of red blood cells. I don’t know.”
A week after the examination he called the third time.
“We need you, — said the employee. — We’re ready.”
For the brother I would have given my life. But if it’s a stranger?
The procedure involves the pumping whole blood to the last drop of Jason’s body and injecting it back. It was required to extract the donor stem cells in the peripheral blood of white blood cells.
Also, he had to make a chemotherapy drug, is not approved for healthy patients by FDA food and drug administration. This drug leads to symptoms similar to the symptoms of acute influenza, and pain in the joints — so strong that, as he said, it’s hard to walk.
Jason knew that the patient had a much more severe suffering, but for him, this procedure would not be routine and painless. His mom was worried about long-term effects of organ donation for the health of the son.
And yet he’s determined not to retreat. He was not bound nor contract, nor the circumstances and could unsubscribe at any time, including right before the procedure donation. Therefore, an employee of the center has been with Jason a long conversation, explaining he agrees.
“She said that I may be the only chance in the world for the salvation of this man — says Jason. — This is not some kind of nonsense. Moreover, the donation procedure patient literally filled with chemicals, which can lead to death. So if I show up on the appointed day, but change your mind, it is likely that the patient will die.”
An employee of the center continued to ask Jason questions: “do You realize the liability? Are you ready to continue?” An interim option was not Jason either participated or not.
“It’s one thing when you get a call your brother and says that he needs your kidney. For the brother I would have given my life. But if it’s a stranger? We think differently when it comes to the health of other people. Usually we just say: “Oh, bad luck to them,” and continue to live my life.”
Jason remained a possibility. He could still say, “Not lucky,” and continue to live your life. But he knew that for him it is not an option.
“I said to my mother: “If I was sick, someone from our family, we would like someone to become a donor. It’s so simple. If you can give someone hope, if it is in your power, you have to do it. I needed another person. How could I not help?””
The taxi driver heard the story and refused to take the money
Jason took an unapproved drug for six days, two injections every morning and came down with all the symptoms about which he was warned: symptoms of severe influenza and increasing pain in bones and joints. Five days before the procedure, he was forbidden to risk his life.
“Like many new Yorkers, I looked a little at the sides, crossing the street. I had to change. My body was the antidote, and I needed to respect that. That’s when the donation became a reality. Now I was responsible not only for himself, but for the life of another person”.
He went to Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in Manhattan. He was lying in bed with a drip. From one hand he pumped blood, the other poured. It was passed through a centrifuge, which separated the white blood cells.
The procedure took three hours, and warned him that after it he will be very tired as after a marathon run. “Heart intensely surpasses the blood of three hours. But it was quite bearable. That was nothing compared to how likely feel patient.”
In the middle of the procedure, the doctor came and thanked Jason for his selfless act.
“Because I was doing medicine, said the doctor. — We can have the best technology in the world, but without the human factor — if you have not given your blood — we would not be able to do anything”.
Then a small vessel dropper filled with white blood cells Jason. The vessel was placed in a cooler and taken out of the room. Mark was there with Jason the whole time. He helped him out of the hospital and went to catch a taxi. It had rained heavily, and there were no cars. “Suddenly a taxi appeared, as if from under the ground, says Jason. — Mark helped me to get to the apartment and went to the office.”
Then Jason found out that he lived
th taxi driver was also involved in charity work.
He told Mark that, when it starts raining, he goes to the hospitals, so that sick people don’t have to get wet. The taxi driver heard that Jason and mark discuss the procedure. At the end of the road he turned and spoke to mark.
“He said, “This is the most incredible story I’ve heard. It is a great honor to drive you two.” Then he refused to take money for the trip.”
When I think about it the eye of Jason’s tears. “I’m a financier, he says. And he is a taxi driver. He doesn’t know me, we would never meet again, and he needed the money much more than me. However, he does not want to take the fare. When my brother told me about it, we both cried. The world is so bad. And then you meet people like this taxi driver.”
I gave him time. The gift of time
Jason knew that it will take some time before there will be information about the patient. It’s been almost two months, there was no news. He didn’t know, did the donation and alive of this person.
He was driving from new York to Rochester with his girlfriend, Lisa, now she became his wife, when he got a call. It was the Manager from the center.
“The news was good. Usually they keep the recipients in the hospital for thirty days. This patient was sent home after seventeen. It was a great achievement.”
Six months later Jason was again heard. Had a relapse, and the patient was again taken to the hospital. Jason is waiting for news, but they appear less frequently than he would like.
“I understand that he might not survive, and it makes me think that I gave this man. And I realize: I gave him time. The gift of time. A little more opportunity to be with family, to live a little. It taught me, for the first time, truly appreciate the time.”
In terms of the donation Jason said that within twelve months personal information about the donor will be hidden from the patient. But a year later they this information to him will be given, and he will decide whether he wants to meet his donor.
Several years passed and Jason still didn’t hear anything about the patient. “I don’t know if I have the chance someday to meet him. I’d like, but I have no information.” Perhaps the recipient’s white blood cells Jason will forever remain a mysterious stranger. That’s all.
But no, not quite all.
“This man completely changed my views, says Jason. — Thanks to him I realized that we are all connected to each other.
Before, I was walking down the street and not notice people, but now I look at everyone and think, “Maybe this is the guy. Maybe that’s him.” I first look at people, not through them.”
In the worldview of Jason have been other changes. As soon as his white blood cells were introduced to the patient, the patient began to develop a new calf. But these blood cells will always remain cells Jason.
“Just think: in his veins flows my blood. We tricked his body into thinking that my healthy cells are it cells, but they will forever remain my own.”
It is known that white blood cells change their appearance of the patient and makes him look like the donor.
“I think this guy found some of my habits. It sounds unbelievable, says Jason. — At me such never was”.
This exceptional case is an example of how kindness can draw us to each other, opened Jason’s eyes to universal truth.
“This is a lesson about how much we are connected with our world. We are part of a larger community and are responsible for each other”.