For months, Prakashni Shandil of West Sacramento had suffered one bad sore throat after another—and antibiotics were not much help. Her lymph glands were so swollen, doctors suspected she had tonsillitis. And so Shandil, who works as a lab assistant for Sutter Medical Foundation, was scheduled to get her tonsils removed.
After the bone marrow transplant, it was like having a new life.
Days before the planned surgery, her throat pain returned, along with a fever. More concerned than ever, the mother of three went to Sutter Medical Center's Emergency Room. There, more tests revealed a shocking diagnosis.
Shandil had Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a form of cancer in which the bone marrow produces abnormal blood cells. These cancerous cells weaken the body's ability to fight off infections.
Shandil met with cancer specialist Michael Carroll, M.D., assistant medical director for Sutter Medical Group's Oncology Department. Dr. Carroll explained that a bone marrow transplant offered the best chance for a cure.
Siblings are the preferred donor source for the stem cells needed for the transplant. But testing ruled out two of Shandil's siblings—and no matches were found in the National Bone Marrow Registry. The family's hope now turned to Shandil's brother, Anil, a National Guardsman who was stationed in Iraq. Anxiously, they awaited his arrival home on leave. To their great joy, he tested as a perfect match.
"When I got the bone marrow transplant, it was a new life for me—a new birthday," Shandil says. Adds Anil, "We are even closer now—we call each other cellmates."
Shandil is grateful for Sutter Health's life-saving care, which she calls outstanding. "Now I want to travel, cook, entertain, learn all types of dancing—and just be surrounded by happy people," she says.