Harper Clark was born prematurely at 32 weeks and severely anemic. Today, she’s a healthy and active 18-month-old thanks to blood donations.

“So immediately in the operating room, she received a blood transfusion. And then within hours after that, she received a double blood exchange. So what that was is it’s slowly removing her blood and replacing it with donor blood,” explained Paige Clark, Harper’s mom.

“She was born with just a very, very low hemoglobin and wasn’t life-threatening shape. So it was very scary, but we were just so grateful for the blood products that she received.

“Honestly, because of those blood products, she’s our miracle girl.”

It’s a similar story for 4-year-old Jakob Guziak, who relies on blood product donations to live. At just 10-days-old, he was diagnosed with ACA SCID, more commonly called ‘bubble-boy disease’.

Monthly plasma infusions are what allow him to live his life as normally as possible.

“He receives once a month plasma or IVIG infusions at the Stollery and this will give him the antibodies that his body doesn’t produce on his own. And it allows us to go outside, it gives us one more day with him,” said Andrea Fernandez, Jakob’s mom.

“It is so hard sometimes I feel to understand where your donation goes if you don’t see the face of someone receiving us. So for us, it’s very important to share our story.”

READ MORE: Jakob Guziak family urging Edmontonians to donate plasma

Jakob is in the process of a Stem Cell Transplant, they hope this means he will no longer need to receive monthly plasma infusions in about a year.

“Then probably his body will be able to start creating those antibodies on its own, but I feel the need for plasma donations, it’s monthly, and I feel that even if he is done with it, I think we need to keep fighting for other patients,” said Fernandez.

Canadian Blood Services says the number of donors always decreases in the summer months, and they hope sharing the stories of these young recipients might encourage you to roll up your sleeves.

“We always want 4,000 people to come in each month to help us with our inventory during the summer months. We always need blood, the need for blood is constant,” said Jasmine Vallarta, Canadian Blood Services.

Both families are thankful for everyone who donates. Even little Harper’s mom has been inspired by her daughter’s battle, is now a frequent donor.

“I’m guilty to say that I just never had the thought occur to me to donate. And so because of Harper I am an avid donor,” said Clark.

“I just feel so indebted and grateful for her and her story, and how it’s a successful story, that I just want to share her story to maybe inspire others” maybe like how I was before her to maybe ‘Oh, I should go donate’ because it’s just really easy.

“And because of that, she’s not only here but she’s a healthy baby with no brain damage and if we didn’t have those blood products, it wouldn’t be scary to see what the shape that she would be in, or maybe not be here with us.”

Source link edmonton.citynews.ca