‘Ottawa’ Jonathan Pitre has Unexpected Surgery to Control a Blood Infection
Jonathan Pitre had an unexpected surgery on Monday, according to his mother.
Tina Boileau posted on Facebook on Monday evening that her son had the surgery to have new lines inserted to help control a blood infection. His last dose of chemotherapy was delayed until he was out of surgery, she wrote. The chemo is now complete, she wrote on her Facebook post.
“If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from these past 17 years is that EB brings so many challenges that test everything you believe in as a person and as a mother,” she wrote.
“This journey has set a whole new path of unpredictabilities and uncertainties.”
“My son shared some very insightful words with me a long time ago: he told me that tomorrow will be a better day,” she wrote. “Spoken like a true warrior.”
Pitre, 16, underwent a stem cell transplant in Minnesota last week when he was transfused with blood and marrow drawn from his mother’s hip. The stem-cell rich material holds the power to alter the course of Pitre’s aggressive skin disease, epidermolysis bullosa (EB), and change his life.
It will be several weeks before Pitre finds out whether the transplant has worked.
His physician, Dr. Jakub Tolar, has warned that the time immediately after the transplant represents “the highest risk for complications,” the most common of which are infections and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). It is a potentially life-threatening situation in which the implanted stem cells produce T-cells that attack normal cells.
Last year, after his first stem-cell transplant, Pitre and his mother were thrilled when doctors discovered new white cells in his bloodstream. But their hopes were crushed when tests showed Pitre’s own stem cells had recolonized his bone marrow, and were producing the cells.