Pediatric Cancer Story: Jarred Smith
By Bryan Wright
JARRED: J.B.S. Jarred is for J, B is for Brent,
and S is for Smith. [SILENCE]
CHERYL: He was doing cross country track. A little fatigue. Nothing to be alarmed about.
Developed a fever. It went away. He developed a fever. We made an appointment. We thought
he had a virus. And on May 11th we went to the doctor’s and Dr. Becky is a wonderful
doctor. Looked him over. We did extensive bloodwork. And she said she would get back
with me one way or the other. And we got the phone call that night at 10:30 that Jarred’s
blood work came back and it came back leukemia. Very devastated at that time and Dr. Becky
assured me that Jarred was going to get the best care over at Brenner’s Hospital.
So we got there. The doctors were fast-paced in the emergency room, we didn’t have to wait
long. We went straight back. Jarred being the trooper that he is really took it all
in very well- to be 8 years old at the time. And within a 24 hour timeframe, Jarred went
through three blood transfusions, two bags of platelets. And from that point, I guess
our world was upside-down at that point. Not knowing what type of cancer- and to me,
the word cancer is always devastating to anybody. Then to have it for your child. To go through…
him being my only child. So it was just a lot to intake within a 24 hour timeframe.
But going into that night with family support. The doctors being there giving me all the
information- it was just outstanding how Brenner’s stepped up to the plate and comforted us,
reassured us that they were going to get to the bottom of what type of cancer this was.
How is it going to affect Jarred and where we’re going to go from here.
By Thursday of that week, we did know what type of cancer he had. He had ALL t-cell.
You hate for anyone to have cancer, but this type of cancer is very curable and treatable.
They think that everything was caught very very early.
Everybody was just phenomenal. I couldn’t ask for a better staff.
They treated us like we were the only patients there.
Any questions that I may have- even through the night if I have a question, they’ve always
told me to never hesitate to call. I just feel that it has been a great commitment
from the doctors here at Brenner’s to give us that one-on-one dedication.
In the hospital stay- and we’ve had long extended stays- they have always allowed us a home
away from home. JARRED: This is just something that they give
you that they give everybody. This one was for feeling. This one was for petting the
therapy dog. These are for blood transfusion, these are for radiation and at night these
glow in the dark. My favorite nurses or doctor- Miss Nancy and
Miss Karen for chemo and my favorite doctors are Dr. McLean and Dr. Ballinger.
CHERYL: The nurses have been great in playing games with him, joking with him. And he has
a lot of nurses that I think he’s got them wrapped around his finger.