Blood transplant patient dies
A Timaru man who received a ground-breaking double umbilical cord blood transplant in 2010, has died.
Troy Hardy was diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia in May 2009.
A worldwide search failed to find a compatible bone marrow donor so he was given a cord blood transplant in January 2010.
The stem cells in the cord blood replenished his body with healthy blood cells.
As an adult, he needed a double dose of cord blood, a procedure that had been carried out in New Zealand only a few times, with the cord blood flown in from Spain and Italy.
After 103 days in isolation at the South Island Bone Marrow Unit in Christchurch in 2010, he emerged leukemia free.
His father Cliff said yesterday Troy had remained leukaemia free but he had battled graft-versus-host disease, a complication that can occur after a stem cell transplant in which the newly transplanted donor cells attack the transplant recipient's body.
"He fought it well but he was on a lot of medication which knocked him around and they had quite a few side effects, but he was always positive.
"He started to go downhill last month, he had pneumonia and a severe chest infection. We whipped him into hospital last Thursday and they put him on life support in ICU, but he slipped away on Friday afternoon."
Troy was 44.
"He was living out here [in Temuka] with Heather and I for the last two years, so he is going to be greatly missed, he was our only child. We still have baby Rose [Troy's daughter] who we are grateful for."
Troy's wife Andrea said he was a wonderful father to their 3-year-old daughter.
"Troy was stoic to the end. We remained committed parents together and made sure Rose came first. The transplant really bought him time for her."
Troy's funeral was held yesterday in Timaru.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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