Devin comes home

8-year-old returns from bone marrow transplant

8-year-old returns from bone marrow transplant

January 19, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

BOONSBORO - Bundled against the cold, a blue surgical mask on his face, 8-year-old Devin Fales stood ready to return to normal.

Signs welcoming the boy dotted the landscape along Mapleville Road, where friends and family gathered Thursday. Devin, who underwent a bone marrow transplant at the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital, was home.

"He's glad to be home, and (back to) his little chair in front of the TV," said Crystal Fales, who has been with her son in Minnesota since September.

Fales said Devin, who has a rare form of anemia that causes bone marrow failure, received a bone marrow transplant Oct. 13, and he spent much of the last few months at the hospital. When he was not in the hospital, Devin stayed at a nearby Ronald McDonald House with his mother and youngest brother, 16-month-old Cole, Fales said.


On Thursday, at the parking lot outside the Cochran auction complex, Devin said he was excited to be home.

His plans?

"Play with my brother," said Devin, whose eyes sparkled as he looked up at 13-year-old Drew.

Drew said he stayed behind with relatives when his mother and younger brothers were in Minnesota. The boys' father, Curt Fales, traveled back and forth, his wife said.

"I've stayed everywhere," Drew said.

When Devin got home, he wanted to see if Santa Claus had come, Crystal Fales said. The boys were playing video games Thursday night, and she said the family was trying to put together an electronic game.

"The three boys, there was stuff for all of them to open," she said.

Crystal Fales said doctors have told her Devin's immune system will be suppressed for the next year or two, so he cannot be around allergens like dust. He also cannot be around too many other children, so the third-grader will be tutored at home, she said.

Fales said Devin frequently quizzes her about what kinds of drugs he is taking and whether she is giving him the right ones. He did the same to his doctors and nurses when he was in the hospital, she said.

Fales said she and her husband always have told Devin about his condition, and they prepared him for the procedures he underwent.

"He just said, 'I have to do this to get better. I have to do this so I can be like other kids,'" she said.

Devin, who is interested in vehicles of all kinds, dreams of working in a career that helps other people.

"If you ask him, he'll say, 'I want to a policeman, a fireman and an ambulance driver,'" his mother said.

Fundraiser planned

A fundraiser Saturday at Cochran Auction Theater on Mapleville Road will benefit Devin Fales, who returned Thursday from Minnesota, where he underwent a bone marrow transplant.

Tickets cost $30 each and include a catered meal and a dance with music by a DJ.

Doors open at 4 p.m., said Devin's mother, Crystal Fales.

For ticket information, call the Boonsboro fire company at 301-432-2348 or Don Shumaker, fire company president, at 301-432-8605 or 301-964-8605.

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