This holiday season, you can give a gift that will save someone’s life. This gift doesn’t cost you a penny, only a few minutes of your time.
One Oklahoma woman is grateful she received this gift – the gift of donated blood - which saved her life. Amy Granados is the mother of three. The 34-year-old works as a legal secretary at McAfee and Taft in Oklahoma City. Her husband, Maurice, has worked as a monitor tech for the Health System for the past three years.
After dealing with severe abdominal pain that left her in tears, Amy decided it was time to figure out what was going on with her health. She went to Norman Regional Hospital’s Emergency Room and from there was admitted to the hospital.
Amy was taken to the fifth floor where doctors monitored her and ran tests to diagnosis the problem behind her symptoms and her pain. During her hospital stay Amy’s blood count dropped significantly.
“My blood platelet count went from 248,000 to 148,000,” Amy recalled. “The next day it dropped even lower to 71,000.”
From test results, Dr. Tariq Mahmood revealed to Amy she had contracted a rare blood syndrome known as thrombocytopenia or TTP. When a person has TTP, their body begins to destroy red blood cells and platelets, and excessive blood clots are produced which can damage the kidneys and nervous system. Platelets are essential to blood clotting and, if they are in short supply, bleeding may occur that can become life-threatening.
Amy was in the process of kidney failure.
“When I got the diagnosis I didn’t really fully understand what was going on. But I knew that before long, someone from the Oklahoma Blood Institute was there hooking me up to a crazy looking machine,” Amy said.
Physicians and nurses at Norman Regional knew exactly what would help Amy. Within two hours of diagnosis OBI technicians were at Amy’s bedside with a plasmapheresis machine. The machine separates plasma from the fluid portion of the blood in a process called therapeutic plasma exchange. The red and white blood cells are returned, while the contaminated plasma is discarded and replaced with other fluids. OBI is the only organization in the region that can provides plasma exchange.
“I had lost so much blood by this point,” Amy said. “When OBI got there, they brought in this machine and cleaned out my blood. They put in a coagulant, and added donor plasma back into my body.”
This treatment was repeated ten times over during Amy’s 24 day stay. OBI donors provided eight units of blood and 138 units of plasma. By making the choice to donate, 140 people saved Amy’s life and she is eternally grateful and encourages you to make the life saving choice to donate.
“Donors saved my life. In the small amount of time it takes you to donate, you are giving someone else an entire lifetime. Please donate,” Amy said.
The blood drives are: