Mark's appointment at Hopkins with the Hematologist was Thursday of last week. We learned that Mark does not have antiphospholipid syndrome, a blood clotting disorder in which Mark has family history and that has been associated with unsuccessful transplants. The Hematologist felt that Mark's blood did not look abnormal and felt like he did not have a hypercoagulability problem despite the issues that he has had with clotting over the past two years (i.e. clotting of first transplanted kidney, clots in his heart in January of 2010, and a non functioning dialysis fistula). He did see a few minor things with Mark's blood that he felt warranted a few additional tests, but nothing he found he felt would be directly linked to the failed kidney transplants. As we had mentioned in earlier posts, the Transplant Team at Hopkins has been successful at transplanting patients with a history of failed transplants and antiphospholipid syndrome. In fact, one of their current research projects is investigating the use of a new medication in transplant patients with antiphospholipid syndrome. So, we were actually hoping that Mark would have this blood clotting disorder as it would serve as a reason why the transplants have failed. Needless to say, we were a bit disappointed on Thursday.
While we were at Hopkins, blood samples from Mark and me were collected to investigate whether or not there is the presence of anti endothelial antibody when our blood is combined. The Team will also analyze Mark's blood when combined with Justin's blood (Justin has sent his blood to Hopkins earlier this year). If the presence of this antibody is detected when Mark's blood is combined with the blood of his donors, it is evidence that the transplants failed due to humoral rejection or antibody mediated rejection. This would actually be a good thing as this would explain why the transplants failed. It too is an issue in which Hopkins is researching as has had success with transplanting patients using their "highly sensitized protocol". Hopefully, we should find out the results of the testing within the next two weeks. As always, thanks to all of you who have prayed on our behalf. We ask for continued prayer as we will learn soon whether or not a third transplant will be a possibility.
On a positive note, Mark Thomas and Mark's mother, Rhonda, accompanied us to Baltimore. We spent some time in DC and had a blast! Mark Thomas was so excited about riding the Metro. He actually became quite skilled at traveling via Metro...he would insert his card and walk through the Metro gates alone. He reminded us often, "I can do it all by myself because I am a big boy." He also liked the Air and Space Museum and Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian. He especially enjoyed the planetarium and dinosaur exhibit.