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“She needs blood immediately.”
A first-person account by David Deuth, who became a dedicated blood donor after his daughter received a blood transfusion during an acute health crisis.
Today, she’s an energetic, fun and outgoing teenager, active in numerous activities. When she was four years old, it was a different story.
Madelyn started presenting peculiar symptoms for an active toddler: lethargy and escalating anemia. Over a short period of time, her skin became so pale that she had virtually no color in her fingernails or even her gums. Something was terribly wrong.
The short story is that our little Maddy was ultimately diagnosed with a rare condition known as Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemosiderosis – fancy medical terminology for a “collection of blood in the lung of unknown origin.”
Before her transfusions began, I quickly offered to be the blood donor. “That’s great,” the nurse told me.
“We can always use blood donations. But, she needs blood immediately – we’ll have to use blood that’s already been donated and screened.”
As our prayers were answered and our own precious miracle was evident before us, I began to think about the blood that revived our daughter’s life. While I still wished it could have been my own, I realized that someone had to donate it in order for her to receive it. Someone must have understood what it meant to give something so precious, yet expected nothing in return.
Our daughter has been healthy and well for many years, but I continue to donate regularly at the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. Every time I go there and roll up my sleeve to pay it forward to someone that I might never know, I recall that terrifying day when someone else’s gift paid it forward for us. And, it saved our daughter’s life.
We’ll never know who the donor was. We don’t need to. I’ll just pay it forward for someone else.
David W. Deuth