When 13-year-old Ali Al-Mammari arrived at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital last summer, he could barely walk due to his severe sickle cell anemia. He ambled down the hallway with a cane, his hips and shoulders locked, with a look of excruciating pain on his young face, despite the medication he was taking.
"At home, he would lie on his bed crying in pain," said his father, Mohammad Al-Mammari. "He was sad he couldn't do things, and we were in the emergency department constantly trying to get him some relief."
Three months after receiving a bone marrow transplant (also referred to as stem cell transplant) at Comer Children's, Ali returned home to the United Arab Emirates no longer experiencing debilitating pain, but rather was running, riding a bicycle and playing soccer. "He was so much more mobile when he left than when he arrived," said Kelly Kramer, advanced practice nurse for the pediatric stem cell transplant program. "And he no longer had any pain. Although he spoke very little English, I could tell he was progressing just by looking at his face."
"He no longer had any pain. I could tell he was progressing just by looking at his face."