Published on February 14th, 2011
Isaac Clary was born a healthy baby on December 27, 1997. At six-weeks-old he developed jaundice with an enlarged liver and spleen; doctors quickly diagnosed him with Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. According to Melissa Clary, “This diagnosis led us on a roller coaster that we could have never imagined.”
The disease progressed slowly until Isaac turned three-years-old. Doctors then decided he needed to be evaluated by the transplant team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Isaac was placed on the liver waiting list in November 2001, and four weeks later he received a new liver and a second chance at life.
For five years Isaac experienced episodes of rejection with the liver, which then eventually led to other complications that subsequently developed into a bone marrow disease, Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiosytosis (HLH). Isaac became very sick and his doctors said the only option was a bone marrow transplant.
During these days of stress and despair, the Clarys reached out to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). According to Melissa, “COTA is an excellent organization with a staff that is full of compassion. They work diligently to bring support, and financial security, to their families.”
Isaac received his life-saving bone marrow transplant on April 21, 2006. Recovery from a bone marrow transplant is lengthy and comes with a long list of possible complications, many of which Isaac encountered and survived. After three long years, he began showing signs of a full recovery.
According to the Clarys, “COTA provided us hope every step through our son’s transplant journey. COTA gave us assurance that funds could be available for transplant-related expenses throughout his lifetime. With these funds, he could continue to receive the life-saving treatments required for him to have a second chance at life.”
It has been nearly five years since his bone marrow transplant and Isaac is now living a normal life. Fighting hard, he has made a miraculous recovery.
“With COTA’s help we were able to experience a true miracle -- our son surviving not one, but two, transplants. He is alive today because of God’s healing and the care he received at Cincinnati Children’s. It is truly a miracle that our son is living a normal life outside of the hospital. We are forever grateful to COTA and to our volunteers who made this miracle financially possible,” said Sammy and Melissa.
“But our true hero is Isaac -- an amazing fighter.”