Boy in bubble’ lands in Toronto

Boy in bubble’ lands in Toronto

Emma Poole, Calgary Herald
Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Following a four-hour flight to Ontario, Evan Pogubila — Calgary’s “boy in the bubble” — has settled into his isolation room at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.

The nine-month-old boy, who suffers from severe combined immunodeficiency disease, was medevaced 3,400 kilometres east early Monday in preparation for a special bone marrow transplant.

“It went really, really well. They were really well organized,” Evan’s mom, Melanie Pogubila, said after arriving in Toronto.

Evan was transferred on a private air ambulance in a sealed plastic enclosure to keep out germs.

For the first month in Toronto, Evan will undergo chemotherapy to ready his system for the transplant. Doctors have found a perfect bone marrow match for Evan. Neither Melanie nor her husband Frank were matches for the boy.

Since being diagnosed with the rare illness in November, Evan has remained inside an isolation room at Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Any contact with the public — including his twin sister, Jordan — could compromise what little of his immune system is left.

The transplant is Evan’s only chance of living a normal life outside of a hospital. Toronto is the only place in Canada where the procedure is done.

Melanie’s parents have also moved to Toronto.

The family, who plan to remain in the city for up to a year, has secured a two-bedroom apartment near the hospital.

Frank Pogubila will fly back and forth from Calgary.

While the Alberta government will pay for Evan’s medical costs, estimated at $150,000, the family is absorbing the bulk of the other expenses.

epoole@theherald.canwest.com
© The Calgary Herald 2007

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