Caroline's wedding dream still alive after hospital heroes save partner Paul
11 June 2018
Paul Foster was diagnosed with severe aplastic anaemia – just a few weeks after the couple got engaged.
The condition meant Paul had a very low number of blood cells and platelets, and he initially required regular transfusions to ‘top up’ his blood and keep him alive.
In the spring of 2017 he underwent a stem cell transplant using stem cells donated by his older brother Stephen.
Paul spent five weeks in the hospital’s Dacie ward following the procedure while his immune system recovered.
Now able to look after himself at home, Paul is making good progress and has returned to his job as an antiquarian bookseller in a part-time capacity.
“Severe aplastic anaemia means the bone marrow is like a desert – there are hardly any blood cells there at all,” said Caroline.
“It was a very frightening experience but the doctors were fantastic. They told us it would be a long journey but they were always very upbeat.”
When doctors recommended the stem cell transplant, all three of Paul’s siblings rushed to Hammersmith to find out if any of them would be a suitable donor. Thankfully Paul’s eldest brother, Stephen, was eligible for the procedure.
Caroline added: “We were very lucky that Paul had three siblings close by.
“We knew it was risky and that was made clear to us but Paul decided that was what he wanted to do. It was the best way for him to try and live a normal life.”
The couple, who live in Chiswick, were engaged on Christmas Day 2016 but had to postpone any plans for a wedding while Paul was being treated.
Eighteen months later – thanks to the incredible efforts of the team at Hammersmith – marriage is back on the agenda.
But first, Caroline is determined to give back to the team who helped Paul through his ordeal.
She will take on the British 10k in London on Sunday 15 July and hopes to raise £5,000 for The Blood Fund.
To make a donation towards Caroline’s fundraising effort, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carolineadams10