Moms. Moms know all, even when we do not want to believe them. Mothers unlock a sixth sense when they are handed their child. This sense matures over time; mothers can see threats a mile away and have time to warn their child of upcoming events.
What if a mother does not have the luxury of the sixth sense growth? What if she only has the first touch to hold onto for days or months?
When I was born, I was handed to my mother right out of the womb then I was examined by my pediatrician. During the examination, my blood platelet count had dropped exponentially. Within the first hour, my blood platelet count had dropped by a third.
My doctor made the executive decision to send me to the closest CHKD, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, with the capabilities of keeping me alive. This hospital is about two hours away from my mother and father. They were informed after I left.
When arriving at CHKD I was suspected to have Leukemia, but that was shortly dismissed as the word Thrombocytopenia was uttered. Thrombocytopenia is the nongenetic step sister to Hemophilia, low blood platelet count hindering any wounds from healing.
If I were to get a bruise or a cut I could bleed out very quickly. My body could not naturally heal itself.
The only roadblock in my way of recovering was my blood type. O negative. O negative is the rarest blood type. Red Cross does not advise O negative blood types to donate blood platelets.
Everyone who knew my family scrambled to figure out their blood type. I received my fathers best friend’s platelets as my first donation. Over the next six years of my life, I received 26 donations which my body accepted as my own. Over time my body started to produce its own platelets and Thrombocytopenia is now a part of my past.
In the age of COVID-19 blood donations have been at an all time low. Blood platelet donations are even lower. Little girls and boys with the risk of dying are not receiving immediate treatment because of these record low donations.
Children with diseases, cancer patients, and accident survivors cannot get immediate treatment.
It is up to you, a healthy and able donator, to help those in need. Your body will heal itself, however, people like fresh out of the womb me do not have that luxury.
Blood platelet donations take about three hours out of your day and have to be administered within five days after donated. Your blood WILL be used. Your blood WILL safe a life like mine.
I will leave you with a link to the American Red Cross Blood Services website where I got some information for this blog post. Please take a look and consider donating.
American Red Cross. (2021). Platelet Donation. Retrieved from redcrossblood.org: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/how-to-donate/types-of-blood-donations/platelet-donation.html