Thursday, September 12, 2013

Good Samaritan from Germany Donated Bone Marrow to Save a Local Patient's Life

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Two years ago, a young man from Germany named Manuel Auge donated some of his bone marrow to save the life of a complete stranger, Thomas Murphy of Burr Ridge. The bone marrow transplant cured Murphy of a blood disorder called MDS that otherwise would have been fatal.

On Sunday, Sept. 8, Auge and Murphy met for the first time during the 25th Annual Bone Marrow Transplant Celebration of Survivorship at Loyola University Chicago Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center. More than 400 patients, family members and friends attended.

Murphy, who lives in Burr Ridge, had a blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome. MDS causes immature blood cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, leading to a shortage of mature blood cells. Mature blood cells that are made also can be defective.

To kill the defective cells, Murphy received high-dose chemotherapy and whole-body radiation. He then received healthy new blood-forming stem cells that came from Auge’s bone marrow.

“You saved my life,” Murphy told Auge moments after they met. “You’re a star.” Auge, a physics student in Tullmenau, Germany, said, “If you could save the life of a person, I think you should do it. It gives you a good feeling."

Murphy’s physician, Dr. Patrick Stiff, said, “Mr. Auge is as much a hero as a fireman who pulls a person out of a burning building. Because he donated his cells, Mr. Murphy is alive and healthy today.”

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.