If you are a match, it’s a miracle! Don’t question it, do it!

Posted May 12th, 2017 by Be The Match and filed in News
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Transplant recipient, Estevan

Carlos is a husband, father and golfer who loves to travel and spend time outdoors with his family. He’s also a frequent blood donor. It seemed like a natural choice to join the marrow donor registry. “My wife and I always knew we wanted to be donors.”

Having joined back in 2009, Carlos was shocked when he got the call that he was a potential match for a young boy with severe aplastic anemia. “It’s one of those things you don’t really think about after you register, until you get the call.”

Carlos describes the day of surgery as a little overwhelming, “seeing so many doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists and other medical professionals in my room to take me to surgery. All along the way, every single person told me how amazing I was. I was told I was a hero but, to me I was just doing the right thing, what I would hope someone would do for me or my family if necessary.”

“We were praying for the best possible outcome for this kid. It’s funny how we didn’t know him yet we prayed for him daily and asked our family and friends to keep him in prayer. We didn’t have a name to lift up but God knew who it was.”

Donation process

Carlos jokes that his main concern about the donation process was how long he’d have to be off the golf course. “It wasn’t hard. I was nauseous on the way home but, after that I was fine. My wife and I took our dogs for a walk the next day so the donation area would not stiffen and be too sore. I took the full seven days of recovery suggested and walked every day.”

And every day, they thought about the patient. “I just wanted to know how he was doing – hopefully I was giving this kid a chance at a normal life.”

Carlos’s prayers were answered. He learned that his recipient’s name was Estevan, a 13-year-old boy from Albuquerque, who loves playing basketball and video games. And Carlos learned what transplant was like form Estevan’s perspective.

 Estevan’s experience

“I’d never had chemo and it made me really sick. The day of the transplant, I was nervous. I was drowsy because of the pre-meds, but my mom, grandma, family friend and aunt were there with me.”

After the transplant, Estevan experienced fevers and infections, but he’s made a steady recovery. “I am in school and having fun with friends and cousins,” Carlos said. “It is good to be back around others.”

Estevan has this to say to Carlos, “Thank you very much for saving my life!” And Carlos has this advice to other registry members:Do it! Don’t think about it and over analyze it—just do it. If you are a match that in itself is a miracle, don’t question it, do it.”

3 Responses to “If you are a match, it’s a miracle! Don’t question it, do it!”

  1. Gail Drey says:

    I to am a happy recipient from a dedicated donor. I also had Aplastic Anemia and my only hope was a bone marrow transplant. I get to meet my donor soon. I look forward to the meeting and hope the donor would like to meet me also.
    Thanks Carlos for helping Estevan enjoy a fun filled life, for without your help, our lives would not have much quality.

    Gail

  2. Carlos Gallegos Sr says:

    I’m very proud of you Son for having the courage to donate your marrow. This is what being a “hero” is about! Going above and beyond to help save a life! 😄😄

  3. Sudee says:

    What an honor Mr. Carlos to save a young mans life. What a beautiful blessing from God to receive a chance for Estevan . God gave both of you a precious gift. I am 48 years old and have been on the donor list since I was 23. I think savings some ones life would be the biggest accomplishment and honor on this planet . Waiting for a call for me . I am ready and would never hesitate to help anyone.

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