Storm delays life-saving blood donations for West Jordan toddler

Dec 27, 2022, 6:48 PM | Updated: Dec 28, 2022, 10:28 am

MURRAY, Utah — Winter weather is impacting more than just travel, it’s also impacting blood and platelet donations across the country.

“The American Red Cross of Utah is urging residents to give blood to help ensure patients across the county have access to lifesaving blood as a massive winter storm battered much of the United States canceling more than 300 Red Cross blood drives over the past week and leaving about 9,000 potential donations going uncollected,” The American Red Cross said in a release issued Tuesday.

A platelet shortage briefly impacted Primary Children’s Hospital on Monday when the hospital’s scheduled shipment arrived Tuesday after a flight delay, according to Glen Beeby, a spokesperson for Intermountain Healthcare.

Heather Kunz, of West Jordan, shared her concerns in a Facebook post after she received word that her 2-year-old daughter Tayden, who is receiving treatment at Primary Children’s Hospital, would be impacted.

“They were doing her transfusion last night and the nurse came in and said we’re being told there is a shortage so I’m checking with the doctors to see what they want to do because they’re only allowing ¼ of her dose,” Kunz said.

Tayden is battling a rare blood disease called aplastic anemia, she’s been at Primary’s for several weeks undergoing chemotherapy. About a week ago she received a bone marrow transplant and is now receiving two platelet transfusions a day, according to her mother.

“We’re now waiting for her body to engraft, basically that means the donor cells will start to produce, and then she’ll create those on her own and she won’t need transfusions after that,” Kunz said.

When Tayden’s platelets are low, the signs are quickly visible.

“We’ll notice a little bleeding in her nose or her lips will start to get blisters,” Kunz said. “So it only takes a few days of not having them before she’s really bad.”

Tayden is nearing the end of her treatment at Primary Children’s Hospital, but she will still need more platelet transfusions in the months ahead. Her mother hopes sharing her story will inspire those willing to donate to do it soon.

“I think putting a face to it helps but blood, plasma, platelets, all of those things are important, and people need them for sustaining life,” Kunz said. “It’s one of those things it’s way easy to donate and it can save someone’s life. So please consider doing it.”

One drive scheduled this week will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at 1028 W. 1000 North in Pleasant Grove.

Click here to schedule an appointment.

Red Cross is offering a reward for blood donations

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Storm delays life-saving blood donations for West Jordan toddler