Andrew’s symptoms started on July 4th in Oak Grove Missouri, when he woke up next to his fiancé at about 8:30am. When he got out of bed, he noticed that he had a sharp pain in his abdomen right up through his rib cage. As the day went on it got worse and worse. Later that evening he endured the worst pain of his life, so he and his fiancé decide it’s time to call an ambulance – at this point he’s in the fetal position and he’s crying.
They took him to a regional hospital called St Mary’s ER, and they immediately get control of this pain. Then the doctor comes in. She informs him that his white cell count is 97,000 and his platelets are super low.
They decide to keep him in the ER so a “specialist” could talk to him who wouldn’t arrive till the next morning. The specialist told Andrew there was a helicopter on the way to fly him to another hospital, because he had Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and would be starting chemo the first thing in the morning.
Andrew felt so numb and confused. They had a chemo consent form that he had to sign. The doctor then told him to hang in there cause things were going to get rough. That’s when Andrew started calling his family. When he arrived in Kansas, they admited him right away, where he has EVERY symptom from the chemo. By this time, he had a hospital room with family and friends. A month later when he got discharged his dad is there to drive him straight to Denver so he could get a bone marrow transplant.
During the road trip Andrew nearly passes out at the gas station and they end up having to stop so Andrew could be sick many times during the long journey. They finally make it to Denver, where his original plan was for his dad to drop him off at his friend’s house here. But his dad wanted to stop by and see his cousin (we are all very close). They arrived at her place, she met them in the drive way and ran over to give Andrew a hug when he passed out. He lay there for a few minutes then she and his dad helped him into the house, where he spent the next week.
Andrew began treatment at P/SL, but found a better personal fit at University Hospital, where he received his high dose chemotherapy, 2 radiation sessions, and bone marrow transplant from a stranger on November 3rd.
Andrew is really looking forward to connecting with other young adults who understand what he’s been through.