Blood Donations Help Irelynn Fight to Live
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Sept. 17, 2014 — Blood donations help millions of patients in need every day. In Savannah, blood donations made to The Blood Alliance help a young patient named Irelynn Rose live.
Irelynn’s struggle to survive began when she was six weeks old. Her parents took her to their pediatrician because she had not been well for a couple days. They knew something was wrong. The pediatrician quickly discovered that Irelynn’s hemoglobin level was at a near fatal 2.8, when it should have been above 10. She was administered her first blood transfusion and later diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA).
DBA is a rare blood disorder and considered life threatening. It inhibits the body’s ability for bone marrow to produce red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. There is no known cure. The only treatable way is through monthly blood transfusions and corticosteroids. A bone marrow transplant could halt the need for regular transfusions, but current technology requires a perfect match, which isn’t an option for little Irelynn.
Irelynn receives a blood transfusion every three weeks.
“We are thankful for another three weeks to have Irelynn bless our lives” said her father, Nick Rose.
“We’re so thankful to The Blood Alliance for being a blood collection bank and provider. Thankful to our employers for providing insurance to help with all our medical bills,” said Irelynn’s mother, Melissa. “Our biggest gratitude goes out to every blood donor for selflessly giving life to strangers, just like our daughter, who lives because of their precious gift of life.”
Irelynn receives her monthly transfusions through a port attached to her rib cage. Given the nickname, “Bumpy,” it eliminates the need for the constant needle sticks. But with the frequency of blood transfusions, a natural build-up in iron occurs that the body is unable to remove. Irelynn must endure an additional process to rid her excess iron, by drinking a prescribed beverage called Exjade.
On the surface, Irelynn is just like any other four-year-old child. But, every 20 days:
- Irelynn gets pale, her energy level dwindles and her appetite lessens.
- Irelynn goes to hospital to refresh her life, become renewed – to be kept alive.
- Irelynn receives a blood transfusion. The blood transfusion infuses her with energy and returns her appetite. Her familiar pink color returns to her lips and warms her smile.
Irelynn has now had 74 blood transfusions.
Have you considered becoming a blood donor? It’s easy to do and can possibly save a life, like Irelynn’s.
Source: The Blood Alliance