“Eaan woke up screaming in pain with baseball-sized bruises painting his skin”
It was every parent’s worst nightmare come to life. Eaan’s mom woke one morning to the fearful cries of her son as he screamed in pain for her to come to his aid. Overnight, 11 year old Eaan had developed baseball-sized bruises all over his body. The patches of purple and blue matched the clusters of petechiae that painted his skin. Petechiae are pinpoint, round spots caused by broken capillary blood vessels that leak blood into the skin and appear red, brown, or purple.
Eaan told his mom that he could taste blood in his mouth, and when his mom looked inside, she saw oozing, quarter-sized blisters. Eaan’s pediatrician took one look at his symptoms and referred him to the ER, where labs showed that his blood platelet count was only 3,000. The normal range is between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per micro liter of blood. Eaan’s dangerously low platelet count indicated that he was suffering from thrombocytopenia. His specific diagnosis was idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a deficiency of platelets in the blood that can lead to excessive bruising, bleeding into the tissues, and slows blood clotting.
Admitted to St. Jude’s for inpatient care, Eaan was prescribed three different drugs for treatment. The only medication that seemed to relieve his symptoms was the intravenous immune globulin (IVIG), a quick and effective medicine that increases blood counts, but usually wears off in a few weeks. The goal of treating ITP is ensuring a safe platelet count and preventing bleeding complications while minimizing treatment side effects.
Over the following nine months, Eaan spent 13 weeks in the hospital. His platelet count would rise high enough for him to be sent home, but then days later they would bottom out again, and he would need to return to the hospital to start treatment all over again. During one of his frequent stays, Eaan’s nurse walked into his room to check on him and came face to face with a gruesome sight. Eaan’s IV had come out while he was sleeping, and his nurse found him lying in a massive pool of his own blood. His mom vividly recalls hearing the panic stricken sound of his nurse’s voice when she called to update her on Eaan’s progress.
At present, Eaan’s treatment plan is working, and his platelets are tentatively stable. He routinely visits the doctor to check his blood work in order to monitor the uncertain status of the future of his condition.
Eaan is a shy young boy with a big heart. He enjoys fishing and listening to country music. Melissa McCarthy is his favorite actress for her comedic performances in movies such as The Heat and Identity Thief. During football season, Eaan cheers for his home state’s team, The New Orleans Saints, especially for idolized quarterback Drew Brees.
Kids Wish Network is hard at work planning a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Eaan; make sure to stay up to date by checking back soon for all of the fun details on his amazing wish!