Share Your Story

Release of Likeness

Overjoyed by the arrival of their son, new parents, Megan and Troy, were in great spirits and excited about their family’s future. “Owen was perfect and completely healthy, or at least that’s what we thought,” says Megan.

OwenThe morning after Owen was born a nurse noticed bruising on the newborn’s back. An unsettling discovery, blood was drawn immediately to check his platelet count. The results confirmed everyone’s fear. Owen’s platelet levels were only at 9,000 - healthy, “normal” levels are around 250,000. With his tiny blood unable to clot due to low platelets, Owen was experiencing uncontrolled bleeding.

“My son was diagnosed with Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia or NAIT disorder,” explains Megan. “Basically, my platelet type and my husband’s type were incompatible which caused Owen’s platelets to fight themselves off.”

Initially, Owen received platelets from volunteer blood donors to help maintain his levels. “He had already developed a brain bleed with mild seizures, so without platelet transfusions, he wouldn’t have survived,” admits Megan.

Since receiving donor platelets was only a temporary solution, it was determined that in order to provide compatible platelets for Owen and reverse the situation, Megan would have to donate her own platelets to save her son. It was this that led her to the blood center early Saturday morning; less than 48 hours after delivery.

“Right after we entered through the doors, the staff’s positivity was just what we needed to take some of the stress off of us,” Megan continues. “Everyone was so helpful in getting us through the process quickly, especially my phlebotomist, Angela. She knew I had horrible veins and how important this ‘stick’ was. She did great!”

After the donation, staff continued to ensure the “special” product was processed and labeled correctly. Since time was of the essence, staff worked as a team to adjust the process just in time to save Owen’s life.

Saturday evening, less than 24 hours after Megan’s donation, Owen received his mom’s platelets. This transfusion did just as doctors had hoped and raised Owen’s platelet levels to 419,000 - a remarkable number seeing as the newborn’s levels had dropped to just 6,000 prior to the transfusion.

Today, Owen continues to do great and is developing perfectly. Doctors say he should suffer no long term effects from his rough arrival and that his platelet levels have now stabilized and rest at the desired “normal” level.

“It makes me tear up to even think about that day, the blood donors who donated to keep Owen strong and how much everyone at the blood center cared about our family,” concludes Megan. “I understand it’s not very often you get to meet the families you help but I’m sure they’re all as grateful as we are for what you do every day.”

Find out more about how you can help save the lives of infants, children, and adults through blood donation. Learn more at About Blood.