A Young Girl's Battle

With a Rare Disease

Charlotte Bass was only four years old when she was diagnosed with a rare hematologic disease. Read the incredible story of how AdventHealth helped her beat the odds.

Charlotte sits with her doctor in her hospital room.
Charlotte Wasn't Even His Patient

Still, He Called and Calmed Our Fears

Charlotte was three-and-a-half years old when she seemed to have come down with the flu. When she just wasn't getting better, her mother, Estela, took her to the doctor. The bruising on her skin led the doctor to find broken blood vessels. Testing revealed that Charlotte's platelets were low. The doctors performed a blood and platelet transfusion, a procedure that would improve her condition only temporarily. Charlotte endured the transfusions for five months, traveling 90 minutes each way to and from treatments. By the sixth month, Charlotte was receiving blood and platelet transfusions three times a week and there was still no real change in her condition. Her doctors decided to order a bone marrow biopsy, and the Bass family finally learned what had been riddling their child: a rare blood disease called aplastic anemia. Charlotte needed a bone marrow transplant.

One of the nurses recommended that the Bass family go to a different hospital, AdventHealth for Children, to receive care from a recently hired transplant doctor, David Shook, MD. Estela called him immediately in hopes of getting some much-needed answers. She expected a nurse to return her call to schedule a consultation but, to her surprise, Dr. Shook called her back himself. He immediately took the time to answer all of her questions and concerns, completing a thorough consultation with her over the phone. Grateful for the personal attention and feeling that Dr. Shook would take excellent care of her precious daughter, Estela switched doctors and brought Charlotte in for treatment at AdventHealth for Children.

After withstanding news of three unsuccessful donors, the fourth one was a 100-percent match. On June 10, 2016, Charlotte's bone marrow transplant was a complete success. She received whole-person care from her team of specialists, helping her to regain her strength physically, mentally, and emotionally. Ninety-five days later, five days sooner than the typical recovery period, Dr. Shook delivered the life-changing news — Charlotte was free and clear to go home. Now, Charlotte Bass is back to being a normal kid. She's even made a trip to Disney World.

The Greatest Care for Our Smallest Patients

AdventHealth for Children has the only pediatric stem cell transplantation program in Central Florida. We offer comprehensive, whole-person care that helps children and their loved ones, like the Bass family, feel more at home.

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