Devon Still's Daughter Leah 'Doing Better' After Stem Cell Transplant Complication

Tuesday marks a year since she was diagnosed with pediatric cancer.

ByABC News
June 2, 2015, 4:01 PM

— -- The daughter of Cincinnati Bengals defense tackle Devon Still was doing better after suffering a complication in her stem cell transplant, her father said.

Still, 25, on Monday posted a photo of himself and his 5-year-old daughter, Leah, to Instagram, saying Monday marked the first time she had "really been awake" in four days. The girl was giving a thumbs up in the photo.

Still said Friday his daughter suffered a complication in her stem cell transplant called VOD.

VOD generally stands for veno-occlusive disease, also known as sinusoidal obstruction syndrome, or SOS, which means small veins are blocked, which can affect toxins in the body if the liver is affected.

Dr. Hillard Lazarus, a doctor of hematology and oncology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, said VOD usually refers to an issue with the liver.

“It’s like putting a clamp on the liver. The liver will back up with fluid,” said Lazarus.

If the veins in the liver become obstructed, it can essentially stop working, which leads to a build-up of toxins if chemotherapy or another harsh treatment gets used on the body. Lazarus said there is an investigative drug that might help treat the condition, or hospitals will give the patient supportive care.

Leah was diagnosed a year ago with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, ESPN reported. In March, her father said she was in remission but she must still undergo stem cell treatments.

VOD is known but rare complication of stem cell transplants, according to Lazarus.

Still and his daughter will be honored during the ESPYs next month when they receive the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, according to ESPN.