The bone marrow transplant that is a Wiscasset man’s best chance of recovery from leukemia is complete. Both Nathan Panarese, who has spent the past several months at the Boston Children’s Hospital, and his sister Cassie Panarese, who donated her bone marrow to him, are recovering from the procedure, Cassie said Monday, Dec. 19.
On Thursday, Dec. 15, about 1 liter of bone marrow was taken from Cassie and transfused to her younger brother Nathan, 20, who has been battling leukemia for more than a year.
It will take about three weeks for doctors to determine if the bone marrow transplant is successful, Cassie said. Nathan has had no negative side effects from the procedure.
If all goes well, the bone marrow will help stimulate and strengthen Nathan’s immune system, and after more than five months of hospitalization, Nathan will be able to return home, Cassie said.
Nathan may be discharged from Boston Children’s Hospital and return to Wiscasset in about six weeks, she said. While she is sore from the 100 needles that withdrew the bone marrow that was transferred to Nathan, Cassie will be able to return to work in the coming week, she said.
“I just want to thank everyone for their help and support and everything they’ve been doing,” Cassie said. “It’s been very helpful for all of us.”
The Nickels Back Redemption Center in Wiscasset and G&J Redemption Center in Boothbay have established accounts so customers can donate their bottles to Nathan. Huber’s Market, Sarah’s Cafe, and the Wiscasset Quik-Stop have all put out collection jars.
The donations have allowed Nathan’s family to cover the costs of their frequent trips to Boston, Cassie said.
The family plans to spend Christmas with Nathan at the Boston Children’s Hospital, she said.