From Jordan: My aplastic anemia

Jordan wrote a bit about his condition.

Here it is , in full, unedited:

I am 27 years old and have never had a serious condition in my entire life, until now… I was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia. This is a quick look into my experiences and how God has taken hold of my life and the lives of everyone around me and is showing us His mighty power and desire for an intimate relationship with each of us that goes deeper than any earthly relationship can.

It was 9:00pm on Aug. 29th 2010 and my wife Corie was taking me to Kaiser Permanente Lakeview ER. I was a bit frustrated about going to the ER (but at the same time thankful for my wife’s concern) because I felt like it was just severe Strep-Throat and I would be ok in a couple of days. The ER nurses seemed not too concerned about my condition they smiled and said “Is this the guy with the sore throat?” The staff’s lack of concern made me frustrated because I was in major pain and I was spitting up blood!…Yet, it reaffirmed my underlying thought that I was “OK” and that it was just a severe case of strep-throat. I sat in my waiting room with Corie my love waiting for the doctor to see me for about 15-20min. When the doctor walked in and began asking me questions my throat was overwhelming with pain and I requested that the Doctor speak with Corie as it was killing my throat to speak. I spit into a cup to show the Doctor that I was bleeding and after seeing that they quickly had me transferred into a room where I could not affect any of the other patients in the ER. They had Corie and I gown up and put on face mask to prevent spreading germs. They had no idea what I had…

Kaiser ER doctors and nurses quickly plugged me with 2 IVs in each of my arms and began pumping me full of liquids, antibiotic medication, and pulled my blood to see what was going on. The doctors came back after reviewing my blood and said sir your white blood and platelet counts are very low we cannot let you leave the hospital until we figure out what is going on. I asked, “how low?”, “what does this mean?”, “What if I just get up and leave, what are you going to do about it?” I was utterly shocked when the ER doctors sternly (almost in a rebuking tone) told me that I could not go home because my white blood count was below 1 (should be 4.2 – 9.0) and my platelet count was 10 (should be 163 – 450) and that if I went home I would either bleed to death or get an infection that could kill me. The doctors said they were going to perform more test and that I would need a platelet transfusion immediately. I could not believe what the doctors were saying because I thought to myself, “This could not be happening to me…I have always been healthy…I am strong…I eat healthy…I workout when I can…and I am too busy for this disease!!!!!” I continued to think that this would pass and everything would check out ok and I would be home and back on my feet in no time. The doctors sent me in for CT scan and a variety of other test to figure out what was preventing my body from producing good blood cells. As the evening progressed into the early morning the doctors told my wife and I that we would need to be transferred to another hospital because my insurance did not want to cover my stay at Kaiser Permanente as this hospital was not on the insurance coverage list. Frustrated, tired, and sore I consented to the transfer and they began to process my transfer.

I was transferred early in the morning on Monday Aug. 30th 2010 to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana where I underwent a thousand blood test again (many duplicating Kaiser’s) as well as a bone marrow biopsy (worst pain of my life to date…I will get that Doctor back one of these days) for 5 days to determine what I had. The Infectious disease Doctor thought I had Dengue Fever…he was wrong….the Hematologist thought I could have Leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, aplastic anemia, or it was just temporary condition… I prayed it was just temporary…Unfortunately, on September the 3rd 2010, after anxiously waiting for the bone marrow biopsy to come back with results, I was told I “almost certainly” had Severe Aplastic Anemia….I was devastated, confused, scared, and still in disbelief. I knew nothing about “Aplastic Anemia”….The Doctor said that my bones were no longer producing white and red blood cells and platelets in my bone marrow. This meant that if I was not treated I would die… Corie and I began to weep uncontrollably and everything began to sit-in on what we could/would be up against…God began to pull Corie and I into Him.

Side note: Everyone who found out about my condition began to pray, offer support (baby care, monetary, airplane tickets to fly out my family, hotel stay for my family, IPAD to keep me from going stir crazy, the list goes on and on), and even offer their bone marrow to save my life. My family put together their own “medical research team” to find out everything they could about Aplastic Anemia so that we could be informed on what we were heading into. Our close friends (Sean and Amber) put together a website to provide updates and give people the opportunity send their support. I was full of emotion to find out how many people really cared about me, and could not help but sob with thankfulness.

The Doctors could not definitively say I had “Aplastic Anemia” because they said they were not a specialized hospital in understanding this disease. This uncertainty caused Corie and I to have so much anxiety it began to become overwhelming, we felt like we were going to get ulcers. The Doctor that was treating me said he was going to have to transfer me to a hospital that specialized in the treatment of this condition so they could further test for the reason that caused this disease and effectively treat/cure it. It was between USC, UCI, UCLA, and Cedar-Sinai. The doctor suggested Cedar-Sinai as the best suited hospital to treat this condition and he quickly requested a transfer for the same day…but because it was labor day weekend the Insurance company (Bluecross) was off for vacation so they did not submit the approval until after the weekend ( got to love our insurance system!).

The Blessing of not having me transferred over the weekend, and I am so thankful to God for it (it comes in three parts), is that Western Medical Center in Santa Ana #1. My house was only 17minutes away which made it easy for Corie to come and go to take care of herself, our daughter, and spend every night and morning with me; #2. It gave us downtime together to accept the condition I was in and allow God to take control; #3. This hospital had a family room where I could hold and kiss my daughter who I had not seen for almost a week – it gave me an opportunity to see Gabrielle 3 times! (Cedar-Sinai does not allow children under 12yrs on the cancer treatment floor so I will not be able to see my daughter face-to-face for another 30-45days or depending on duration of treatment it could be longer).

On Sept 6th 2010 I was officially being transferred to Cedar-Sinai. Corie, my mother Pamela, and Gabrielle came to send me off from Western Medical to Cedar-Sinai. I kissed Gabrielle up as I was not sure when I would be able to do it again. The Paramedics showed up and they said I had to go…reality began to hit me again and I began to swell up with emotion and cry. I asked the paramedics if Gabrielle could sit on my lap while they wheeled me out on the wheel-chair and they said yes. Gabrielle cozied herself up on my lap and thoroughly enjoyed this new experience with her father riding on a wheel-chair through the hospital and out to the parking lot. I had not been outside for 9 days so when I felt the cool breeze and the sun hit my skin I thanked God for the opportunity to breathe real air and feel the sun’s warm embrace. Being indoors for 9 days with the inability to go outside really makes you appreciate just how much of a blessing and honor it is to go outside and experience God’s creation. I felt good to be outside, but I was feeling anxiety about leaving my beautiful Cor and Gabbie.

The paramedics asked me to get in the ambulance and I had to say my goodbyes. I hugged and kissed (through my face mask) my Corie, Gabbie, and mom and they said rests assure that they would be up to Cedars tomorrow to see me, this helped calm my anxiety. It was the hardest thing in the world pulling away in the ambulance and seeing them wave goodbye and blow kisses I could not help but tear-up and thank the Lord for blessing me with such an amazing family. The drive to Cedars took 2 hours because of rush hour traffic and I got to see what it looks like to drive from Orange county to Los Angeles looking out the back window (really weird when the car stops and you feel like you are still moving because there are cars coming at you). I arrived at Cedars at 6:00pm and the paramedics wondered me around the hospital trying to find where I needed to be dropped off (it was a little amusing, but mostly frustrating, because come on they should know right?).

I am now at Cedars Sinai and my journey to recovery both physically and spiritually is continuing daily. I will update more when I have time and strength, love you all and thank you for your love and support!

  1. #1 by Steve Cowell on September 13, 2010 - 5:22 pm

    What a crazy, yet inspiring story! I am so encouraged by your faith, Jordan. During a time of uncertainty, fear, sadness, loneliness, maybe even anger…its great to know that our God is big and draws close to us during the times when we need Him to. We are here to battle along side you my friend.

  2. #2 by Mike Bearden on September 13, 2010 - 6:50 pm

    One precious day at a time hermano. Love you bro. Stay Strong, man up, and get ready to battle. We are here for you and this journey. See you soon.

  3. #3 by Vincent on September 13, 2010 - 7:02 pm

    You are in our thoughts, and we're all hoping that you will be enjoying better health again soon.
    Cori has show amazing strength and both of you are very lucky to have each other.
    As you gain strength we will be around to visit. God Bless you and your family.

    The Galbreath Family is behind you and willing to help anytime to support you and your family on this journey.


  4. #4 by Nicole Derakhshanian on September 14, 2010 - 2:37 am

    You had me in tears, Jordan… I hope things are better and you get to see little Gabbie very soon. We are all praying for you and your family <3

  5. #5 by Winson Lee on September 15, 2010 - 2:08 am

    My English is not good to explain all of my feel after i read all of the update. One things i want to share i was have trafic accident few years ago and stay in hospital is long. That make myself change a lot and today become know about you Jordan ! I really want to talk to you in mandrine but this moment let you have good rest will be more important. Last Sunday i was in temple talk about you to Buddha. I become a father understand how important we want to stay with kid and wife. I will always with you and support please keep strong i am waiting to have lunch or dinner with you again.

  6. #6 by Alejandro Toro on September 15, 2010 - 4:29 am

    Hi Jordan,
    Is very nice to hear about you. My family and I are praying in China for your health and for your whole family and remember: GOD IS IN CONTROL and all people who love you is sorrounding you with good feelings and good energy. Positive mind. See u soon!

  7. #7 by Eric DeGioia on September 15, 2010 - 8:01 pm

    My wife Hua Li and I attend North Shore Baptist Church. We will continue to pray for Jordan. Always remember that our God is in control. He will see you through this.

    Love in Christ,

    Eric and Hua Li DeGioia

  8. #8 by Claudia Toro on September 15, 2010 - 10:16 pm

    Jordan, I am Carlos Toro’s sister, Claudia Toro, Your story brought tears to my eyes and all I can do is pray that you will get healthy again so you can come home to your beautiful family. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  9. #9 by Aunt Sherri on September 16, 2010 - 2:55 am

    Jordan, We are all praying for you guys and thinking of you every day! Know that all of the “east coast Greens” are in your corner. Stay strong and know that we love you!

  10. #10 by John and Shinta Hsu on September 16, 2010 - 4:36 am

    Jordan, when I heard from you last week about your condition, my heart is deeply saddened. Shinta and I are praying for you and your family. We are praying for the Lord’s mighty hands will bring healing to you.

  11. #11 by Jorge on September 16, 2010 - 1:37 pm

    We are praying for you in DR. God is with you and you will be victorious in his name.
    …by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

  12. #12 by Andrea on September 16, 2010 - 6:40 pm

    Stay stong & know that you are in my prayers, I havent prayed in a long time but family comes first & I know God will answer our prayers. Send me ur address the kids want to send cards they made for you.

  13. #13 by Gwen Johnson on September 19, 2010 - 8:21 pm

    I too was deeply touched by your physical and emotional pain! I have been praying for Jehovah Rophe (Exodus 15:26) to heal your body completely and for God to be glorified in all the lives that will be (and have been) touched by you and your precious family. May the Spirit comfort you and your family and may the Almighty God give you supernatural strength to withstand these great trials. We will lift you and your family before the throne of grace every day! Gwen and Curt Johnson ( We are friends of your parents in Charlotte at Christ Covenant and Curt, Matt and Erica went to China with your parents last summer)

  14. #14 by Rachel Sawyer on September 20, 2010 - 1:05 pm

    All of Serenity’s co-workers (individually and corporately) in the Dominican Republic are lifting you up in prayer. May the Lord’s peace be upon you and your family.

    Leaning on Him in the Dominican Republic,
    Rachel Sawyer

  15. #15 by pamela on September 23, 2010 - 3:03 pm

    Jordan, just thinking about all the precious light radiating from that room in downtown LA as you sit in there and draw close to God. It gave me a smile in my heart today. I love you and pray for you all day long.

  16. #16 by Melody Fillmore on October 3, 2010 - 11:53 am

    Wow! Anna just posted this – I didn't know you were sick! (This is Melody used to be Tompkins and I knew you and your family in Kona) I will definitely be praying for you and watching for updates on your condition.

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