OMAHA (KPTM)- A mother said her daughter's life was saved thanks to blood donations. Her three–year–old had open-heart surgery at only four-months-old, and because blood was available, her heart now beats healthy and strong. The Red Cross said more success stories can happen just like this—if more people were to donate during holiday weekends.
Eisley Rich was born with Down Syndrome and pulmonary hypertension, but at three years, old she already knows some numbers, letters and even sign language.
"She's also very forgiving. And that's kind of an inspiration to our family and our friends to see how willing she is to open to just open her heart and love anybody," said Eisley's mother, Anne Rich.
It's her heart that makes her even more special. She had open-heart surgery at just 4–months–old.
"She had a big hole in her heart that affected both the bottom and the top chambers and eventually would need surgery to fix it," said Rich.
Eisley was also born with a heart defect so she was placed on an ECMO--a machine that operates as her heart and lungs. Rich said the ECMO and blood donations are what saved her life.
"No matter how big her team was or how skilled her physicians and nurses were, if we didn't have the donors or the blood to make the machine work we wouldn't have Eisley with us today," said Rich.
The Red Cross said blood donations are needed, especially during holiday weekends, like this weekend's Labor Day break.
"We see an even greater drop around those holiday weekends. That's why it's so important for people to give now to make sure that there is blood available because we never know when there might be an emergency like Eisley," said April Oppliger with the Red Cross.
"We know through our faith and through our family that this is the child we were meant to have. And she has changed our family, she she's changed friends, she's changed strangers just by being who she is," said Rich.
Oppliger said all blood donations are welcome, but there is an urgent need for blood types O negative, B negative, A negative and blood platelets.
You can visit any Red Cross to find out more information.
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