Friday, August 13, 2010

The littlest life saver I know

Earlier this week I got to meet the youngest person I know who’s made a life-saving contribution.

Her name is Clara Maughan and when I first walked into her room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen I completely missed her. I was in the middle of talking with her parents, David and Stacy, when I heard a tiny peep from the corner of the room. Turning toward the noise, my eyes got wide as I quickly realized the tiny bundle of joy — wrapped in receiving blankets and being cradled tenderly by a relative — had been there the whole time.

Clara wasn’t even a day old but she was already making her voice heard in more ways than one. Sure, the audible impact of a baby chirping is nothing compared to the voice of several adults conversing. But in the minutes after her birth at 1:53 a.m. Monday morning, Clara had already made a contribution most adults never have the opportunity too. And that spoke volumes.

Clara’s cord blood, with her parent’s permission, was collected by her doctor at the Family Birthplace at Texas Health Allen and sent to the Texas Cord Blood Bank — a facility in San Antonio where life-saving cord blood donations from hospitals all over Texas are stored. Umbilical cord blood, which is normally discarded after the birth of a baby, is rich in blood-making cells that can be used as an alternative to bone marrow transplants to treat cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, disorders of the blood-making system such as sickle-cell anemia and severe immune-system disorders.

So, when I call Clara the littlest life saver I know it’s not an exaggeration. And her mother agrees:

“It’s a win-win situation if there is a match available,” said Stacy while holding Clara and wearing a proud smile on her face. “If we needed cord blood we would want the opportunity, too.”

In addition, the whole process of collecting and storing cord blood is free for patients at Texas Health Allen. Many cord blood collection services charge pricey fees up front and annually for storage of this precious commodity.

When I asked the clinicians at Texas Health Allen why we joined with the TCBB to provide this free service for our patients they all gave me the same answer:

“It’s just the right thing to do.”

Josh Hixson
Senior Public Relations Specialist
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen

No comments:

Post a Comment