… Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation complications

Ariane Bernard2018-03-17T16:37:40+02:00

Ariane Bernard

What seemed self-evident became complex, fragile, fascinating

I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at the age of 12 and was treated with chemotherapy at the Saint Louis Hospital before receiving a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. In the weeks following the operation I developed an acute form of GvHD diagnosed as chronic few months later. Main signs were very severe general dryness of all the mucous membranes and the skin. Immunosuppressive treatments did help partially controling this problem even if 7 years later I’m still suffering from a fairly painful eye damage. Fortunately, most symptoms could be greatly reduced by scleral contact lenses and artificial tears.During this epic journey,  I had the chance to meet brillant physicians, nurses and caregivers who, perhaps subconsciously, have shaken my outlook on life: what seemed self-evident became complex, fragile, fascinating. This time spent at the hospital along with the chronic form of the disease, made me want to become a caregiver myself for all the patients who expect so much from healthcare. I’m a second year medical student, at the very beginning of a beautiful story.

Ariane Bernard, Medical student