Mighty Duck defenseman Milos Holan took another step toward recovery Thursday when he was released from the hospital nine weeks after undergoing a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia.
Though full recovery takes about a year, going home is a significant milestone.
"I just feel like I'm back into life, you know what I mean? Like I'm born again," said Holan, who was found to have a slow-progressing form of leukemia last September after a routine training camp blood test revealed an abnormally high white blood cell count.
Holan played 16 games for the Ducks while doctors searched for a suitable marrow donor. He left the team Jan. 4 after an anonymous donor was located and underwent the procedure Feb. 21.
"Mr. Holan's recovery to date has been excellent," said Dr. Stephen J. Forman, director of hematology and bone marrow transplantation at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte. "At this point, the transplanted marrow has engrafted, his leukemia is in remission and his physical rehabilitation is proceeding satisfactorily. There are still major clinical hurdles to overcome before a long-term prognosis can be made."
Holan, 25, said that although he was happy to be home he "still doesn't feel strong." He'll be watched closely as he continues his recovery, and will have to take special care to avoid infection, limiting his outside contact at first.
He said Thursday he would like to wait to talk at length about his ordeal, but issued a statement through the team thanking many people for their support.
"My wife Irena and I are happy to be coming home. I feel very lucky to take this next step," Holan said. "I would also like to thank [people for] all of the support that has come from my teammates, the Mighty Duck organization and our fans. Many people took the time to drop me a note and I am grateful for their good thoughts and well wishes."