Bone marrow drive held for SA man

Ironically, Morris Stevens' wife is a transplant nurse

SAN ANTONIO - In her job as a nurse at University Transplant Center, Laurie Stevens sees miracles happen everyday, lives saved by generous people who donate organs, tissue and bone marrow.

This time, though, it's her family in need of that kind of help.

Her husband, Morris, recently learned he suffers from Mylar Dysplastic syndrome, a condition that has caused his bone marrow to be unable to produce enough blood cells.

"To get the actual diagnosis that my husband needs a transplant, I didn't believe," Stevens said. "It took me a long time to come to grips with that."

Morris Stevens said he received the shocking diagnosis after a what should have been a routine medical exam.

"Literally, I got a phone call about four hours later, saying, 'You need to go to the ER.  You're in deep trouble," Stevens said. "I'm missing all three products, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets."

A computer systems architect, Stevens said he has noticed that the condition often leaves him tired and unable to concentrate. But he's more worried about what he doesn't see.

"There are some silent things going on in my body that you don't feel but people tell you are really bad and it scares you, " he said.

Without a bone marrow transplant, his condition could turn fatal.

Friends and co-workers organized a bone marrow testing drive at University Hospital Wednesday in the hope of finding him a donor.

One by one, people stepped up to fill out forms and used a cotton swabs to collect cells from inside their cheeks. The information is put into bone marrow registry, with the potential to help many more people than Morris Stevens.

"Even though, obviously, I'd rather not be (in this position), it's sort of like a blessing and a curse because this is an opportunity to really help a lot of folks," said Morris Stevens.

To find out more about becoming a bone marrow donor, contact the University Transplant Center at 210-567-5777.


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