Iris received blood transfusions several times during her short life, beginning with her open heart surgery at 7 weeks old. In order to put a baby like Iris on the heart-lung bypass machine for open heart surgery, donated blood has to be used to make sure there is enough blood to go through the machine and its tubing while leaving enough in the patient’s body. Iris also received donated packed red blood cells several times during her hospital stays to raise her hemoglobin, since her heart defects meant that she needed all the help she could get getting oxygen to her body. Her final blood transfusion happened the night before we decided to began comfort care and remove her from life support. Without it, we probably would not have had the last 2 weeks with her that we did. We are so grateful that donated blood was available to her when she needed it and have learned exactly how important and lifesaving blood donation is.
Iris would be turning 1 on April 17th, and we would truly appreciate if family and friends would consider donating blood in honor of her birthday. We are organizing a virtual blood drive so that friends and family across the country can participate. Every donation can help save up to three lives. When you pledge to donate, this website will suggest donation centers near you, or you can contact Hoxworth in Cincinnati (hoxworth.org) or Bloodworks NW in Seattle (bloodworksnw.org). Let us know if you need help finding where you can make an appointment to donate near you!