Brother Donates Bone Marrow and Saves His Brother’s Life

Paul Kinsey was an athletic 17-year-old looking forward to graduating high school when he was diagnosed with leukemia. After months of chemotherapy, he went into remission, but relapsed soon after. His only chance at survival was a bone marrow transplant.

Without hesitation, his younger brother, Jason, 16 at the time, volunteered to be tested – and was the perfect match. Paul then received a gift of life from his brother through a bone marrow transplant at Holtz Children’s Hospital. He spent more than six weeks recovering in the pediatric bone marrow transplant unit at Holtz.

Holtz patients like Paul are now able to recover from their bone marrow transplants in a new, state-of-the-art, seven-bed unit equipped with many features. The unit is the largest of its kind in South Florida and serves pediatric patients of all ages with various types of childhood cancers and sickle cell disease.

“This new unit will let us treat more children who need a fighting chance,” said Carlos A. Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Health System, during a ribbon-cutting in the unit. “Young people come to this unit with a long road ahead of them. It’s such an honor for this hospital – and this community – to give them the tools for recovery and the partners who can help them win the battle.”

The new unit has a family activity center with TVs, movies, computers, a kitchen area and laundry facilities. Each computer is equipped with Internet access, which allows patients to do their schoolwork online and take part in video chat lessons with their teachers.

Now 20, Paul and his family praise the doctors and nurses at Holtz for saving his life.

“I’m 100 percent cancer free,” he said, standing alongside his doctor, Martin Andreansky, M.D., Ph.D., the director of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program.

Paul’s mother, Pauline Kinsey, became teary-eyed when she spoke about the care her son received at Holtz – and the future success stories she hopes will come out of the new unit.

“I’m so happy because more people will be able to get help from the wonderful staff here,” she said. “They are our family.”