Phoebe ER nurse to make life-saving donation

Phoebe ER nurse to make life-saving donation
Easton Glover, a registered nurse at Phoebe Main's emergency room, is making a life-saving donation. (Source: Phoebe)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Easton Glover is used to providing life-saving care.

A registered nurse in Phoebe Main’s emergency room, Glover is used to giving the utmost care in high-pressure situations.

“ER nurses are a different kind of people, I guess you’d say," Glover said. “We have to be really calm under pressure. It takes a different mindset to be able to handle ten situations at the same time. You have to be quick on your feet and handle a fast pace.”

But next week, Glover will save a life in another way — by donating bone marrow.

Phoebe officials said Glover will donate bone marrow to a woman who would likely not survive without the transplant.

“It was pretty shocking when I found out I was a match," Glover said. “It has to be a perfect match, and that’s kind of like hitting the lottery.”

Glover first joined the “Be The Match” registry eight years ago to see if he could be that winning lottery ticket for someone who needed a bone marrow transplant.

All he had to do was a cheek swab.

For most, that’s the end of the process, but six years later, Glover got a call saying that his blood was the perfect match for a woman in Europe who had cancer.

However, her condition deteriorated, and she wasn’t healthy enough to go through the transplant process then.

Glover soon got another call that the woman was in good enough health and still needed bone marrow.

“It’s pretty exciting to be able to help somebody you don’t even know,”

Glover said.

Phoebe officials said the woman is currently undergoing a high-dose chemotherapy treatment that essentially destroys her blood cells.

How the donation works:

Glover is donating bone marrow through a process called peripheral blood stem cell donation.

For five days before donating, he must take injections of a drug that will drastically increase the number of blood-forming cells in his bloodstream.

Donors often experience severe headaches, bone and muscle pain and fatigue.

“If I only have to go through five days of pain for somebody else to have a long life, it’s really nothing. You’re somebody’s cure to whatever sickness they may have,”

Glover said.

Glover will travel to a specialized clinic in Boca Raton, Fla. where his donation will occur.

Through a process called apheresis, his blood will be removed through a needle in one arm. It will pass through a machine that will collect only the blood-forming cells, and then the remaining blood will be returned to his body through a needle in his other arm.

The process takes six to eight hours to complete.

Once done, his donated cells will be rushed to a hospital in Europe where within 36 hours of his donation, they will be transplanted into the recipient.

“After she receives my blood, she’ll be in isolation for 100 days in the hospital, and it either takes or it doesn’t. If it takes, they may ask me to donate again,”

Glover said.

Glover said he would not hesitate to go through the process a second time if it could help the patient recover. Because of privacy laws in the recipient’s home country, Glover will never know her identity, but he looks forward to sending her a letter.

She is allowed to write back if she chooses, and he hopes she does.

Glover said he wants to encourage others to sign up as potential donors.

“The main thing is getting people to learn about the ‘Be The Match’ registry. I really want it to be about people registering, so they could possibly be somebody’s cure,”

Glover said.

Glover said he is excited about his chance to save a life and is optimistic it will be a success.

He said he is looking forward to getting right back to work, saving even more lives.

“The ER is my home," Glover said. "I love working here, and I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”

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