Grandmother reflects on grandson’s ‘miraculous’ recovery

Before 13-year-old Anthony Ingram’s big winter band performance at Sequim High School on Dec. 8, his grandmother Joanne Tisch wanted to celebrate, so they went to eat at Hi-Way 101 Diner.

Afterward, Anthony needed his tie to look sharp, but Tisch didn’t know how.

“I’m a grandma; I don’t know how to tie a tie,” she said.

“The waitresses didn’t know how so we asked around the diner and found the chef knew how.

“He was so sweet.”

Chef Joshua Hicks tied Anthony’s tie, smiled for a photo for Tisch, and off they went.

Submitted photo / As part of the Sequim Middle School band, Anthony Ingram plays trombone, seen here at a December show. His grandmother Joanne Tisch said he’s recovered from acute liver failure and bone marrow failure and remains active in a number of organizations.

Submitted photo / As part of the Sequim Middle School band, Anthony Ingram plays trombone, seen here at a December show. His grandmother Joanne Tisch said he’s recovered from acute liver failure and bone marrow failure and remains active in a number of organizations.

Anthony, a seventh-grader at Sequim Middle School, is active with a number of organizations including the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, Trail Life USA and various school clubs, including playing trombone in the school band.

Being active and busy has been a way of life for him, Tisch said, as he faced liver and bone marrow failure a few years ago.

Outlook

At age 8, Anthony learned he had acute liver failure and acute bone marrow failure, Tisch said, so he lived at or near Seattle Children’s Hospital for treatment during his second grade year.

His grandmother said good matches for transplants weren’t found so he received immunotherapy from doctors and a lot of prayer from friends and family.

Submitted photo / For second grade, 8-year-old Anthony Ingram spent most of his time at or near Seattle Children’s Hospital receiving treatment for acute liver failure and acute bone marrow failure. After a trip to Hawaii through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he stopped receiving treatments and gradually got better, his grandmother Joanne Tisch said.

Submitted photo / For second grade, 8-year-old Anthony Ingram spent most of his time at or near Seattle Children’s Hospital receiving treatment for acute liver failure and acute bone marrow failure. After a trip to Hawaii through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he stopped receiving treatments and gradually got better, his grandmother Joanne Tisch said.

“The prognosis wasn’t good,” she said.

During treatment, he attended school with other immuno-compromised children to do his schoolwork sent from his teacher Chris Stevens at Greywolf Elementary.

He qualified for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and was later able to travel to Aulani, a Disney resort on Oahu, Hawaii.

“I knew he was going to go off medication after the trip,” Tisch said.

Submitted photo / At age 8, Sequim student Anthony Ingram was a Make-A-Wish recipient after he was diagnosed with acute liver failure and acute bone marrow failure and went to Aulani, a Disney resort on Oahu, Hawaii for his wish. It’s been five years since, and his grandmother Joanne Tisch said his liver and bone marrow seem normal.

Submitted photo / At age 8, Sequim student Anthony Ingram was a Make-A-Wish recipient after he was diagnosed with acute liver failure and acute bone marrow failure and went to Aulani, a Disney resort on Oahu, Hawaii for his wish. It’s been five years since, and his grandmother Joanne Tisch said his liver and bone marrow seem normal.

“It was nothing but bad news before, so I didn’t think he was going to live.”

But life got gradually better for Anthony, she said.

“It was a gradual thing. His labs were just horrible and then they just started getting better and better until they were normal,” Tisch said.

Anthony has had no signs of liver disease and his bone marrow is normal, and after a biopsy a few months ago, “he’s made it full circle five years later,” she said.

Doctors will continue to see him until he’s 21, but Tisch said those check-ups are now only once a year, Tisch said.

“Even his liver surgeon said his recovery is miraculous and they normally don’t say things like that,” she said.

“It is a miracle. It really is.”

Looking ahead

Tisch, a retired Clallam County juvenile services counselor, said she gained custody of Anthony and his older brother Colin about a year before Anthony began treatment.

“They keep me young,” she said. “Anthony is something else. He has personality plus.”

Both her grandsons are bigger than her now, she said, and are “wonderful boys.”

While in Seattle, Tisch said she and Anthony spent a lot of time with many dying children but he remained positive.

“Anthony was a light in so many people’s lives,” she said.

And now with a trombone, he can continue to play on. With a slick looking tie, too.