Saturday, December 30, 2006

Five years old girl suffers from seizures following bone marrow transplant

Bria Banks, the 5-year-old Detroit girl who received a bone marrow transplant last week from her 6-year-old brother, suffered two seizures last week -- causing minor brain damage -- but is returning to her usual, rambunctious self, her family said Tuesday.

Bria got the marrow transplant from her brother, Brandon, last Wednesday. She was diagnosed in September with aplastic anemia and Fanconi's anemia, both of which are rare blood disorders that attack the patient's bond marrow.

For any chance of survival, she needed a transplant.The brother and sister were featured in a Free Press story last week.After an injection of Brandon's marrow was given to Bria intravenously, both children were recovering well at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, about 250 miles from home.

But then Bria began acting bizarre and looking ill, said her grandmother, LaTonya Edwards. "All we could get out of her was that she had a headache," Edwards said.That's when the first seizure hit.Another seizure soon followed, and Bria quit breathing.

Doctors revived and intubated her, putting breathing tubes down her throat; she was in the hospital's intensive care unit for about two days.An MRI later revealed both reversible and irreversible brain damage because of the temporary lack of oxygen.

Bria's mother, 25-year-old LaTisha Lockett, said Bria's seizures were reactions to medication; they weren't a sign that her body is rejecting her brother's marrow, she said."She's doing real good," Lockett said Tuesday. "She's back to herself, laughing and talking."Brandon, too, is keeping entertained while he recovers.

Deputies from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office drove to Cincinnati on Saturday -- bringing Edwards and Lockett's sister, Shawnte Lockett -- and delivered a TV, DVD player, PlayStation 3 and some videogames to keep him busy. That's on top of the many gifts donated by employees of Olympic Steel Co. of Detroit, who adopted the family for the holidays.

Lockett said Brandon is expected to return to his grandmother's East Ferry home in Detroit the first week of January.

Christmas, she said, was a blessing. The family received many donations and cards and ate food provided by the children's charity Ronald McDonald House."For the kids," Lockett said, "it was real nice."


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