We assumed the apheresis process would take 4 to 5 hours, maybe a little more. After the kink in the line was fixed it wasn’t possible to go as fast as the technicians would’ve preferred. The line pressures wouldn’t stay in the right range, so they had to go more slowly, so the process took closer to 10 hours. So, since it was around 2pm when we got to apheresis, it was after midnight before we left. The apheresis technicians do not typically work around the clock. They are used to going home by 5 or maybe 6pm. The staff in the apheresis lab understood how hard this was for Ray and how important it was to get it done that day, so they volunteered to stay until it was all done. We are very grateful for their dedication and willingness to see this through for Ray.
We were also very grateful that Dr. Malech was able to step in when the line kinked and manipulate it and the dressing into a position where it was a usable line. Without his intervention they would have had to stop the process entirely at that point.
Ray was a trooper as well. After the kink in the line, he had to stay on his left side for the rest of the night. While he spent some of the time napping, he also spent time on the phone talking to his Make-A-Wish partner and helping to arrange a Wish for a well deserving local child.
Today, the large bore line was removed from Ray’s back. Afterwards he had to remain on his back for 4 hours. He slept for most of that 4 hours plus some beyond it.
Drs. Malech and DeRavin stopped by this afternoon with some good news. The cell count from what was collected from Ray was high enough to meet their expectations as well as provide some additional cells which will be considered “back up” cells.
All in all, the process was successful.