S.C. boy with sickle cell disease waits days for blood transfusion amid shortage

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 6:23 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 7:03 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The American Red Cross said as of January 2022, the U.S. is experiencing the worst blood shortage it’s seen in the past decade. It’s affecting people in the Palmetto State in a major way.

The Red Cross said donation centers and hospitals are operating with only about 75% of the blood needly daily. The blood shortage is making an impact on people like 11-year-old Dreylan Holmes in Columbia.

His mom, Vesha Jamison, said Dreylan was diagnosed with sickle cell disease at just six weeks old, and he’s had regular blood transfusions ever since.

In November 2021, Dreylan was admitted to the hospital and desperately needed a blood transfusion. Because of the shortage, he was forced to wait three whole days for one. His mother described the situation as scary and heartbreaking. She said it’s because she knows her son needs this blood to survive.

“To know that this is something I can’t just put a band-aid on or kiss it and make it better, it’s frustrating. Maybe I won’t say frustrating, but it’s very difficult to watch your child in the hospital bed, knowing that there’s absolutely nothing you can do at that moment,” said Jamison.

Jamison also works at the American Red Cross under the state’s sickle cell division, so she said she knows first-hand how bad this shortage is. She said having the blood shortage trickle down to her child puts the issue into a different, more personal perspective.

To donate blood with the Red Cross click here.

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