Remembering Chris Bradley: A look at his treatment for leukemia

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In March 2017, Chris Bradley made a visit to emergency room at Riverside Methodist Hospital after he thought he may have the flu.

It was there he got the news that changed his life.

“I was in the emergency room and they thought something was wrong with my heart. They were going to admit me into the cardiac ICU,” he said.

A blood draw and some tests revealed leukemia. Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

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What's worse, Chris had been stricken with an aggressive mutation of leukemia called FLT 3.

“They say it’s kind of like an accelerator on a car. It just pushed down on that gas pedal and the leukemia just goes like crazy,” he said.

Doctors transferred Chris to OSU's James Cancer Hospital that night, where his condition worsened in the days that followed.

Chris’ husband, Jason Krauss, sent their children, Spencer and Maria, away to his sister’s house for a month to shelter them from it all.

After rounds of chemotherapy, doctors at the James got Chris into remission. A bone marrow transplant donor had been lined up to donate their healthy marrow for Chris, when fate dealt a cruel blow.

The donor developed a medical issue. Doctors had to call off the procedure. Plan b was a stem cell transplant.

It worked and got him home for Thanksgiving but it didn’t hold.

The leukemia had roared back. Doctors put Chris into a medically induced coma. His eyes were hemorrhaging and his kidneys shutting down. They had to restart his heart.

“I begged God for more time. I begged God that he would allow me to hear Chris’ voice one more time,” Jason said.

Jason went home early the next morning to be with the kids and pray. He learned later that many others had joined him in praying.

When he returned to the hospital, the nurse told him, “Chris is still in this fight.”

Jason said that’s when he realized he wasn’t standing in the eye of a storm but in the center of a miracle.

Chris would go on to finish another month on a clinical trial drug that doctors say has shown great promise in battling acute myeloid leukemia.

The goal was to get him back into remission to pursue what doctors consider his best shot: a bone marrow transplant.

The treatments got him close to remission, but never close enough.

And in November, a new immunotherapy trial drug failed too.

Chris slipped away, peacefully, at home. He turned 53 years old in August.

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