Tahnee Hamilton was recently interviewed by KSL-TV about her young child, Avery, who was diagnosed less than a year ago with T Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
About Veno-Occlusive disease (VOD)
Avery is also being treated at the Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah for Veno-Occlusive disease (VOD) which is a rare condition that affects the liver. The disease is usually caused when a child has undergone extensive chemotherapy treatment and/or radiation.
VOD causes blockage of the blood vessels that move blood through the liver. The liver is affected due to its inability to remove drugs, toxins or waste matter.
Avery’s mother, Tahnee, explained to KSL that her daughter has had intensive chemotherapy at least once each week. There have been periods when Avery has had to undergo chemotherapy every day.
Tahnee said that Avery must have blood transfusions several times each month. Avery also gets infusions of platelets that form in the blood and stop excessive bleeding.
A Rare Blood Type
The platelets are critical for Avery, who has an uncommon AB negative blood type, to sustain energy and build her blood supply.
To add to their burden, Tahnee was told recently that the type of platelets that Avery needs is in short supply. The doctor said regrettably that their supplies of the negative platelets have run out.
As a temporary solution, Avery has had to have positive blood transfusions. This has required injections of a drug called RhoGAM immune globulin that will hopefully prevent the buildup of antibodies.
Hoping to Spread the Word
Tahnee told KSL that she hopes to spread the news about the shortage. She talked about how the chemotherapy is killing Avery’s blood cells and about the necessity of blood transfusions.
Help From the Red Cross and ARUP Labs
A Laboratory in Utah, the ARUP labs, donates all their blood products to local hospitals and health centers.
The American Red Cross sends its blood products all over the country.
Please note that platelet donors are urgently needed for organ donations, cancer patients, open-heart surgery patients and victims suffering from traumatic injuries.
A Message From the Red Cross
The American Red Cross has been urging donors to help in rebuilding the blood supply which has been critically low. It is asking for donations in order to prevent delays in lifesaving medical care. There is also a need for volunteer blood drive hosts.