DALTON MEETS HIS ANGEL
By The Oliver Family
Remember this face? Two years ago Dalton Bailey was diagnosed with juvenile chronic mylogenous leukemia, a very rare form. He was not yet two years old. We, his family, asked for your help. Everyone in this and surrounding communities responded with more generosity and enthusiasm than we had ever dreamed. We were able to pay for a four-month stay in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Dalton had a Bone Marrow Transplant from an unrelated donor.
Dalton first underwent ten days of chemotherapy during which he charmed all the nurses, enjoyed the play room, and watched the buses from his fifth floor window. His first full sentence was, I want to ride on the "Big Bus", so upon his discharge we were "ordered" to take him to ride on a "Big Bus". We also enjoyed the Milwaukee County Zoo, a free day courtesy of Ronald McDonald house. We then returned to the Children's Hospital to begin the preparation for the transplant. Dalton had three days of very strong chemo to kill all the disease possible. He had to have a Foley catheter during this treatment to ensure there would not be any chemo remaining in his bladder. Dalton was not bothered in the least and had to be reminded to slow down! At this point his white blood count was down and Dalton had to begin wearing a mask when he was out of his room.
We then started three days of total body irradiation. Dalton could not eat all day; due to his age he needed to be sedated for the three treatments a day for three days. Talk about a hungry child! By the time he could eat he was going at it with both hands, one in spaghetti-O's and one in mac and cheese. Dalton spent only two days in bed when he did not feel well, the rest of the time he kept Mommy and Gramma very busy. He was not allowed out of his room for 27 days, but he did not mind a bit! He had MANY toys sent to him. All the negative things we had been told would happen did NOT. Dalton flew through it with a very positive attitude; he was told honestly when something would hurt and always knew what to expect.
The actual transplant happened at 11:45 PM on September 20, 1996. The Bone Marrow from the donor was pink and such a small amount for something to important! The marrow arrived with gifts and cards from the donor, Mary. She expressed such love and concern for my son that we were destined to become fast friends. The National Bone Marrow registry would not allow us to meet or know each other's location for one full year post transplant. We corresponded through letters, sent first to the registry for that year. Mary sent gifts and much love to Dalton and me, and we could not wait until we could actually talk. She called shortly after our one-year was up. She revealed some startling facts! Mary and Dalton share the same birthday, June 29th. Mary's son also had a Bone Marrow transplant in Milwaukee; his was not successful and Mary lost him. Mary and her son, Brian had stayed in the same room at Ronald McDonald House, # 234, that Dalton, Gramma and I stayed in. We were astounded by these facts and felt that we were destined to meet.
Dalton is four now and almost two years post transplant. He is doing extremely well. Because his donor was a woman, he should show only female chromosomes, but he is still showing some male. Due to the fact that his form of leukemia is so rare, the Doctors do not know why this is happening or what it means. He is now having a Bone Marrow aspiration (removing a small amount for testing) every three months and the results look better every time. Dalton is an extremely happy, energetic child. He now goes to Day Care two days a week and has begun receiving his immunizations for his brand new immune system.
Now that you know the whole story we want to send out a very heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone for your generosity and, even more important, your prayers and support. God definitely had his hand on Dalton through it all. When there might have been a problem, we sent out the word that prayer was needed and the problem disappeared. God guided us home from Milwaukee in a terrible storm. WE THANK HIM AND PRAISE HIM.
On Saturday June 27, 1998, we finally will get to meet the woman that saved Dalton's life, his own angel. Mary is flying up from Monroe, Louisiana so they can celebrate their shared birthday together.
Again we thank everyone for your help in saving Dalton and hope you will say Hi if you see us out and about.
Town of Franklin
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