A retired obstetrician who once delivered babies was given a new lease on life thanks to the help of babies. David Hall underwent a cord blood stem cell transplant to combat his acute myeloid leukaemia, and is living a much healthier life today.
As an obstetrician throughout his professional career, Hall helped many pregnant women give birth to their newborn children. During his career, he clamped and cut many umbilical cords that were later determined to be a rich source of cord blood stem cells.
When Hall was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012, he attempted to find a matching bone marrow donor, with no luck. His own doctors recommended cord blood therapy, and a viable donor was found with the assistance of the Duke University School of Medicine.
Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg is leading a number of cord blood clinical trials at Duke University, and became aware of Hall while he was searching for a donor. Dr. Kurtzberg says that cord blood is a popular alternative to bone marrow given how difficult it is for cancer patients to find a complete genetic match.
“Many people can never find a complete match either in their family or in the adult registry.”
The transplant was a success, and Hall committed his extended time to helping others become cord blood aware. Dr. Kurtzberg says Hall’s years of experience as an obstetrician will allow him to speak to other obstetricians, nurses, and even doctors about the benefits of cord blood banking or cord blood donation.