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Re: 18 month old toddler diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia

From: Marla

Date: 9/29/2003

Time: 11:54:33 PM

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Hi Mary Jane:

I suggest that you find out if the child need transfusions yet or not. Also, find out if the hospital has it’s own blood bank. In case the child might need transfusions, do the following:

Start rallying up people to donate blood for the little tyke. Find people who are willing to be regular donors while they get the little guy fixed up. Of course find out what he needs first–i.e. red cells only, or platelets only, or both. Blood has a shelf life, so make sure that people rotate and stagger the donations. Don’t have everyone run down to donate at one time. A lot of the blood will go to waste or to someone else if there’s too much blood down there. Usually about 3 or 4 units of red cells at one time is good to have on hand. An 18-month-old would probably need less. Coordinate the supply with the blood bank personnel. They need to know that your are donating specifically for this child.

Also keep in mind that if the child’s white count is very low, it’s a good idea not to have all kinds of people running in and out of their house so as to avoid transmitting any bugaboos to the child. No sick visitors.

Umm. Personally, if it were my child, I would not like anyone bringing junk foods and candy to my kid either. That would all go in the trash anyway. Maybe stuffed play things and other toys to keep the kid busy would be good.

And of course, ask the parents what they need help with. For example, do they have other kids in the family that need attention? You may even want to see if one person can be the main contact person for info so that the parents don’t have to tell the same thing to 10 million people every day. (The parents will likely be physically and emotionally exhausted). I really appreciated all the cards and letters of encouragment that were sent to me. I don’t know whether your co-worker will be taking time off from work and will want to hear from you all with what’s going on. Letters are good because you can read them on your own time.

Those are the first things that come to mind. I’m sure others probably have other suggestions that I missed.

It’s very nice that you’re interested in helping your co-worker.

Take care!


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