9-year-old cancer survivor reunited with the man who saved his life

Man sitting next to and putting his arm around boy

In January 2017, 9-year-old Sawyer Dyer was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rare form of leukemia for a child, and one of the most difficult types of cancer to treat.

Sawyer’s parents were told that he only had a 20 percent chance of surviving his cancer, but Sawyer’s story doesn’t end there. Today, Sawyer is no longer battling AML thanks to the gift of life that Kevin Schwartzel, a 30-year-old ER – Physician’s Assistant living in San Diego, California, was able to provide him.

Kevin Schwartzel joined the Be The Match Donor Marrow Registry in 2011 while attending a paramedic program in San Diego where Be The Match was doing a marrow donor drive. In February 2017, Kevin received a call saying that he was a match for a little boy in Tennessee, and he didn’t hesitate to agree to donate his marrow.

Sawyer received his bone marrow transplant in May 2017 at the Sarah Cannon Center for Blood Cancer at Tristar Centennial in Nashville, Tennessee under the care of Dr. Haydar Frangoul. Sawyer has been in remission for the last 18 months.

Sawyer’s dad said that Kevin became a part of their family, and on September 22nd in Nashville, Kevin surprised Sawyer, and two met for the first time in person.

Watch Sawyer’s and Kevin’s very special reunion below and learn more about how to be a match here.

HCA Healthcare 50th Anniversary
In 1968, HCA Healthcare was conceived by two physicians and an accomplished business leader — Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., and Jack Massey. This year, HCA Healthcare celebrates its golden anniversary and the culture of caring established by our three founders 50 years ago. To help us celebrate our 50th year, we’ll share stories here that reflect HCA Healthcare’s mission – above all else, the care and improvement of human life – and our pledge to improve life and make history for the next 50 years and beyond.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 182 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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