Saving Jackson: The Danger of a Simple Cold
Jackson Merriman was the thirteenth child in the United States to be diagnosed with a very rare immunodeficiency referred to as "NEMO." Because of his extrememly weak immune system he has had to live a very isolated life to stay healthy and alive. Doctors have compared him to "the boy in a bubble."
When Jackson was 9-months-old he had three brain surgeries and was diagnosed with NEMO at 14 months. Since then, doctors determined that the best treatment for Jackson is a bone marrow transplant using cord blood.
Unfortunately, the Merriman’s insurance company wouldn’t cover the bone marrow procedure at a hospital where they live Texas, but they would cover the procedure at some other locations, including Children's Hospital Colorado in Colorado. The Merrimans came to Colorado a couple of months ago to prepare for the transplant, where they met Ralph Quinones, MD, a pediatric immunologist and member of the pediatric bone marrow transplant team at Children's. Quinones is optimistic about Jackson's bone marrow donors.
"He has absolutely excellent matches, we match for 10 different proteins on the surface of cells and we have two 10 out of 10 matches for him," Quinones said.
After intense chemotherapy to eliminate his own bone marrow, Jackson received his transplant. So far, is doing better than expected and it is predicted that he will be able to have a happy, healthy childhood.
Read more about Jackson’s progress, or watch the video version of the story from 9News.