Bradley happy to be year older

Published 12:01 am Friday, September 9, 2011

Mandy Bradley is shown with her family. | File photo

Andalusia native Mandy Bradley had more than the Labor Day holiday to celebrate this week. She had another birthday, one that just a few months ago, she was unsure she’d live to see.

In October, Bradley was diagnosed with human parvovirus, and as a result of the parvovirus, she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a condition in which her body’s blood-producing bone marrow has shut down.

For months, Bradley underwent several blood transfusions before a bone marrow transplant on March 9, which was her only hope at survival.

Bradley journeyed to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., for the procedure, and was required to stay in Nashville for 100 days to recover from the transplant and receive adequate care.

Bradley said the frequent hospital stays and all-day clinic stays overwhelmed her life, which was away from family and friends.

Bradley said she was finally able to return home in June, and realized her road to recovery was just beginning.

“Because of a weakened immune system due to the medicines imperative to bone marrow transplant patients, I contracted pneumonia and other viruses and illnesses,” she said.

Those illnesses have resulted in hospital stays in Pensacola, Fla., and Nashville.

Bradley said other obstacles including expensive prescription drug costs and weekly doctors visits have also been a concern.

“On a happier note, my kids are thrilled to have their mom home,” she said. “And I feel so blessed to be back with them.”

Overcoming muscle weakness from medications and exhaustion are the top priority in the healing process for Bradley right now.

“I am deeply moved by the positive thoughts and prayers from the people of my hometown and hope that that my triumph over aplastic anemia might benefit someone else in the future,” she said.