A Patient's Story: Nathan

Sep 1, 2021 | Kimberly Schmidt | @kimberlyd

Little Nathan Herber has already been through more medical interventions than many people have to deal with in a lifetime. Diagnosed with T Cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2018, Nathan has received multiple rounds of chemotherapy, endured a host of complications, developed several severe infections, required a ventilator to breathe, and eventually had to receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, to take over the work of his lungs. He was hospitalized in Mayo’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for months.

But through it all, Nathan and his family persevered, buoyed by Nathan’s joyful spirit. "He is my little rainbow and spreads smiles and cheer. He’s a fighter, and he’s so resilient," says Nathan’s mother, Becky.

Throughout his medical ordeal, blood products were a crucial part of Nathan’s care. Frequently, while on ECMO, he would receive a unit or two of blood or platelets each day.

"The blood bank at Mayo was wonderful," says Nathan’s father, Andy. "The team was so proactive."

Although it was a long process, with careful treatment, monitoring and care from his Mayo Clinic team, Nathan began to recover. After 86 days in the hospital, he was able to go home. Today, Nathan’s cancer is in remission, and now he can join his siblings in their fun.

Andy says his son’s return to a happy childhood is nothing short of miraculous — a reality that hit home on a recent family trip. "I was overcome with emotion when I watched Nathan on the beach, able to run and jump into the ocean with his brothers."

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email donateblood@mayo.edu. Or visit our webpage http://www.mayoclinic.org/donateblood.

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