Yvonne Bell-Alanis

May 2018

Yvonne is 16 years old. Her birthday is August 23, 2001. She is the oldest of four and her siblings adore her! When all of this started Yvonne was just 15 years old. In the end of 2016 Yvonne was always sick. We took her in numerous times for her sore throat, cough, low grade fevers…but doctors kept telling us it was strep throat or tonsillitis. They prescribed her antibiotics, but when she started taking them her body was always aching to the point of tears. We took Yvonne into the doctor again. They checked her iron levels, which were a bit low and said she was anemic. She was prescribed antibiotics and iron. Yvonne was starting to feel a bit better with these. Her sore throat wasn’t as bad and her body wasn’t hurting as much. This only lasted about a week.

On March 18, 2017 Yvonne had to be taken to the ER because she started coughing up blood. By the time my husband and I got to the ER they had already done labs and found that Yvonne’s WBC (white blood count) was 87,000 and she most likely had Lymphoma. She was then sent to Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon from Eugene, Oregon. They did more tests and found that Yvonne had AML (Acute Myloid Leukemia) with a FLT-3 chromosome, which makes it reoccurring. She had her first round of chemo on April 17, 2017. She was released from the hospital in full remission. Yvonne had a few weeks out before she had to do her second and third rounds of chemo at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. During her third round of chemo Yvonne started coughing and had pain in her chest. After some testing they diagnosed Yvonne with Aspergillus, a fungal infection that was on her lungs. It was spreading and growing fast.

On August 1, 2017 the doctors said Yvonne most likely wouldn’t make it to a bone marrow transplant. Her oncologist asked the pediatric surgeons to remove the fungal infection from her lungs, but they declined and said there was nothing they could do because she would never come off a ventilator. Her oncologist in desperate need went to the adult thoracic surgeons and asked them to remove the infections. Since Yvonne was on the border of being an adult they told her doctor they would be able to do the surgeries. On August 3, 2017 Yvonne had an upper lobectomy and was placed into adult ICU. She had two drain tubes placed in her chest. Her second surgery was a lower left resection on August 5, 2017. At this point doctors said her bone marrow transplant was off the table because her body wouldn’t be able to handle it. With a lot of hard work from Yvonne exercising her lungs, on October 18, 2017 she received her bone marrow transplant from a 31 years old woman from Italy. She did well and was released from the hospital on November 8, 2017. During normal check ups Yvonne was showing signs of GvHD (Graph vs Host Disease). She was admitted a few times in December to help treat it. December 26, 2017 she was admitted for the third time for GvHD. She has been in the hospital since trying to fight the GvHD with many infections on top of it. She is being released on April 18, 2018 on hospice because her body isn’t getting better, but also not getting worse.