An Innovative Cure Gave This Child a New Lease on Life

Caeleb MacDonald is one of a handful of people in the world allergic to the only medication that can treat his hemophilia. Unable to receive a blood-clotting factor, he suffers unstoppable bleeding in his joints.

Caleb MacDonald is one of a handful of people in the world allergic to the only medication that can treat his hemophilia. Unable to receive a blood-clotting factor, he suffers unstoppable bleeding in his joints.

“There were hours and hours at a time he was screaming in pain,” said his mother, Cazandra MacDonald.

“The doses of morphine that they were giving, high doses, couldn’t alleviate the pain,” said his father, Joe MacDonald. “There has got to be something to make him better and we weren’t finding it. I felt like a complete failure.”

Caeleb's intense pain and internal bleeding continued, eventually requiring him to use a wheelchair.

With nowhere else to turn, the MacDonalds found Jordon Abbott, MD, an assistant professor in the National Jewish Health Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Abbott could find no report of a case like Caeleb’s, an allergy to hemophilia medication. Lacking guidance from others, he devised a novel, cutting-edge solution.

Caeleb MacDonaldHe gave Caeleb a new medication to block to allergic reaction.

And it worked.

“No one had tried it before, but we felt pretty optimistic,” said Dr. Abbott.  “And to this day he has tolerated the procedure.”

“When you had a child who couldn’t climb the stairs of his house, now running up the stairs and down the stairs, playing outside, that has changed our lives,” said Cazandra. “And I know that Caeleb, to have suffered as much as he has, and to be happy and smiling, there is something amazing that that boy is going to do with his life.”