Leukemia Patient Needs Transfusion - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/22/04

Leukemia Patient Needs Transfusion

Nolan Hester Nolan Hester

The family of a five-year-old Savannah boy is asking for your help. Nolan Hester is battling leukemia and his family is facing mounting medical bills. Nolan needs a blood transfusion. Just ten days ago, his family's world turned upside down. They thought Nolan pulled a muscle in his leg. It turned out to be much more serious.

"It's been stressful, really stressful," said Christy Hester. "We weren't expecting our five-year-old son to have leukemia, but we're getting through it."

Nolan was diagnosed with acute lymphoplastic leukemia. His doctor says he's responding well to treatment, but he will still need a transfusion before he can to go home. "He will have more energy because he'll have a higher red blood cell count," explained Dr. Ihsan Al-Khalil, a pediatric hematologist and oncologist. "He'll be less susceptible to infection because the white count will recover faster."

Thanks to advances in modern medicine, most patients have a better than 90 percent chance of beating leukemia, but the costs of treating it can still be extremely high. Chris and Christy Hester have no idea how much their medical bills will be. The family has some insurance, but Chris is between jobs and money is tight.

One way they can lower expenses is by having others donate blood in Nolan's name. Not only will the blood save lives and help patients, like Nolan, but for every pint that's being donated, the cost of the transfusion will drop for the family.

"You never expect to have this kind of support until it happens, then it just comes from everywhere and you appreciate everything you get and everything everyone gives," said Chris.

You can donate blood at the American Red Cross Blood Center at 25 Tibet Avenue in Savannah, off of Abercorn Street. Be sure to tell them you want to donate in Nolan's name.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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