All members of the BMT team are superheroes to Julie Martindale.
Elijah Martindale (Submitted photo)
When we received the news that our 5-year-old son, Elijah, who was born with a rare blood disorder called Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, was in need of a bone marrow transplant, we were filled with fear and uncertainty. But we knew that we were in good hands with our doctors here at Amplatz.
Elijah, who also has autism, came into the BMT unit fearful of anything to do with hospitals. Even something as simple as getting his height and weight was traumatic. Knowing that receiving a nonrelated bone marrow transplant was grueling to say the least, we were very concerned that we would not be able to get Elijah to comply with the seemingly constant medical monitoring involved. And so we prepared and prayed ...
But from the first day of his treatment, we were met with some of the most amazing people ... Janet the social worker, Amy and Ann from Child-Family Life—they listened to our concerns and helped us to make the experience for Elijah as manageable as possible. The transformation was unbelievable. Elijah tolerated all the challenging medical testing and procedure with flying colors!
There were so many people along the way that made an incredible difference in all of our lives … Nurses like Rachel, Nicole, Julie, Alison, and Theresa ... Aides like Aaron (he made Elijah’s day and mine every time he worked!), Meg, Ash, Cassie, Sarah, and Sartu. Mary at the front desk, who always had a smile for each of us as we entered the unit. I don’t know if you understand what an impact that has on families, like ours, who are in crisis.
Then there are the people at the Journey Clinic who have amazed us with their compassionate care. They welcomed our family in as if we were their own … and they have blessed us with such kindness. Shari, Kasara, Dinah, Colee, McKayla, Paul (who is really Jim), Robin, and I could keep going on and on ...you are our superheroes.
To each of the doctors and nurse practitioners who carefully managed Elijah’s care and listened to him when he talked about his favorite iPad games or listened to the heartbeats of his favorite stuffed kittens, we say thank you! You have an amazing team!
And finally, to Dr. Angela Smith, who has treated us with amazing compassion, mutual respect, and undying commitment...You will always remain a superhero in our eyes. Thanks for all you do! You have seen our little boy...not just a kid with SDS. You took the time to hear what Elijah was not sayingand what he was saying. You know about his central line...the “purple” port and the “silly” port, as Elijah calls them...you took the time to listen, and you changed a life forever. You are an amazing, talented doctorbut an even better person. We can never, ever thank you enough.
So to each and every one of at the BMT clinic and hospital unit—we love you. You have truly earned superhero status in our eyes!!
—Julie Martindale, mom to bone marrow transplant recipient Elijah Martindale