Anna’s Story

In 2012, Anna’s world turned upside down when she was diagnosed with bone marrow failure (myelodysplastic syndrome). This disease likely stemmed from her previous treatment for breast cancer, more than ten years prior. At the time of diagnosis, everything else in her life seemed to be going well. She was a single mom to a high school aged son, whom she adored. She loved her job, they had just adopted Kai, a career change guide dog, and were all living in a townhouse that she helped re-design.

She had a bone marrow transplant in early 2013 and did well initially. Seven months after her transplant, she began to have odd neurologic symptoms and five months after that, chest pain. When she told her transplant physicians about her chest pain, none of them fully evaluated it. She was hospitalized after she lost feeling below her waist, but she also was having increasing chest pain. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t until her twelve days later, that a cardiologist finally evaluated her, when her heart was already damaged significantly. She was given a cardiac stent, but succumbed to a fatal cardiac arrhythmia days later. Her autopsy reported she had been having “ongoing waves” of heart attacks.