Honored Kid

Kevin Knudson

Kevin Knudson Kid Photo


Hankinson, ND, US


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

Date of Diagnosis

July 2006



Treated At

Sanford Medical Center Fargo

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My Story

My son, who was an incredibly healthy toddler, came down with flu like symptoms. He had a fever, some fatigue, wasn't eating, and wasn't drinking much. He also had some vomiting. We decided to take him in to urgent care and have him looked at. He was diagnosed with an ear infection and sent home on an antibiotic. The next afternoon he seemed to be in pain and I had noticed his fever wasn't coming down after I had given him some Motrin. I was going to take him back to urgent care later that evening but then he was feeling better and didn't have a fever. The following day I decided to take him to the physician for a recheck. That morning I didn't think it would be the last day I would ever see him walk out to the car and climb into his car seat. He looked like he was feeling much better and getting over his ear infection. As the day went on I started to notice he was taking on a white pallor and he was starting to get quite sleepy. I never thought it would be the last time I would see his blue eyes. The physician decided to admit him to the hospital for dehydration. At the hospital, they drew blood for a routine blood test. I started to notice that he was starting to have a little bit of difficulty in breathing. The physician had gotten the blood test back and said that his white blood cell count was high and that she was going to transfer my son to MeritCare in Fargo. When my son arrived at MeritCare, more tests were done. I was then told that my son had leukemia. I was also told that his white blood cell count was so high that they were concerned about the blood getting so overcrowded and stagnant with them that he would have a stroke and die. I was also told that it will get worse before it will get better. The chemotherapy wipes out the immune system and then opportunistic infections can occur. Complications from the chemotherapy can also occur. All of this can make him very sick and can be life threatening. My son was sedated and put on ventilator. A blood transfusion was done. Physicians managed to get his WBC count down to where they could start him on Prednisone for chemotherapy for the more popular form of leukemia called acute lymphocytic leukemia. (ALL) The next day physicians felt pretty confident in that the leukemia was the ALL form. My son was stabilizing and his WBC were lowering. A bone marrow biopsy was done to verify what type of leukemia he had. They wanted to make sure he had ALL which is the more common type which was also easier to treat. A spinal tap was also done to see if he had any leukemia cells in his spinal fluid and brain. It all just went downhill from there. The bone marrow came back with findings of the more rare and hard to treat leukemia called acute myelogeous leukemia (AML). He had the M 5 subtype. The spinal tap results showed that he had these cells in the brain and spinal cord. Physicians said he had a 85% chance to make it to the end of the wk. Which by that time they were also hoping he would be in remission from the chemo. As the day went on they started him on chemo for AML. That evening physicians were concerned about a clot behind the eyes. A cat scan was done and they found that he a bunch of them including brain swelling and hemorrhaging. It was then we were told that he was pretty much brain dead and there wasn't anything that could be done. Another scan was done to verify that he wasn't getting any blood circulation to the brain. It had showed up with none above the eyes. We then made the decision to pull him off the ventilator and let him go. My son died in my arms 24 hrs after he was admitted to MeritCare. Kevin's website: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=217792293

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