Mailia and Dr. Zannos Grekos day of Blood Draw
October 24th…2011 landed us that Monday morning at the Regenocyte clinic in Bonita Springs, a convenient 2 block distance from our temporary residence. We were greeted by everyone and settled ourselves in, to ready Mailia for her blood draw, which would be drawn from a femoral pic through her right side/groin area ( A preference by us..since her arms do not generously give up blood so easily) so why traumatize her with Rosie the Riveter?
Same as last year, the only difference was that Mailia knew the drill now, and was not so nervous or anxious about this. She relaxed…started her breath work and chatted and laughed with everyone.
The Regenocyte staff were a little disappointed that her little service dog, “Steel Dust” did not accompany her this trip…she had to leave him back home this time but brought a substitute, a beautiful little Blue Merle Australian Shepherd with blue eyes…the spitting image of her little Steel Dust who she acquired through the WebKinz web site. Yes…he is a “stuffed” toy.
No matter, he brought Mailia much needed support and comfort and she borrowed SteelDusts “Service Dog Vest” and identification to play the part.
Here comes the Poke!
Mailia was later readied into a gown, and hooked up to a heart monitor. I followed her oxygen saturation levels which were in the low to mid 80’s on her standard 5 lpm of oxygen. Her two nurses, prepped the site of her femoral pic, after which Dr. Grekos gently guided the needle into place, and filling the standard 250 cc bag from which Mailia’s adult stem cells, would be derived.
Mailia's beautiful blood for her stemmies
The courier arrived to pick up Mailia’s and another patient’s blood which was hand couriered to a special biological laboratory in Israel where her stem cells will be activated and multiplied using naturally occurring growth factors. In this process of activation, Mailia’s new stem cells are customized for the purpose of which she is being treated for…her lung vasculature…i.e. Pulmonary Hypertension. They will regenerate lung vasculature…and help her build new blood vessels throughout her lungs.
Regenocyte's timely and wonderful courier
This process will take aprox 8 days from today so we will spend the next few days, getting Mailia relaxed, happy and healthy for the next leg of her journey which involves mobilizing into Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic for her actual adult stem cell transplant with the Dominican Regenocyte team.
After Mailia’s blood draw was completed…we got her up and ready to leave the office to head out to get her some lunch and replenish her iron levels. Her uncle Greg Finley joined us as we drove north to have lunch at Ted’s place (Ted Turner) where you can find the best all natural buffalo burgers. Mailia…had a beautiful chicken salad instead.
The following day Tuesday, we were scheduled to bring Mailia back into Regenocyte for an ECHO and further discussion with Dr. Grekos about Mailia’s procedure and where we would go from here. Her right ventricle looked very good and Dr. Grekos was very pleased with her overall heart function.
Our expectations are to see Mailia’s pulmonary pressures come down further and her energy level improve equal to or better than last year. Will this be low enough for surgical repair being afforded her?...that, time will tell and if not, then another course of stem cells, her third…would not be out of the question.
In the interim…we continue to give Mailia a balanced regime of supplementation we have found will complement her stem cell therapy…and she will keep up with her breath work, Pranayama.
Tomorrow…she is delighted and happy to know we will be taking her to see Winter…from Dolphin Tale. If the day is anything like the movie…she will be so very happy and at peace.
Thank you for being a part of Mailia's continued journey towards her miracle. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers for her successful transplant next week.
All our gratitude and blessings!
Andrea, Max and Mailia