'Thank you for keeping my family intact': 5-year-old boy saved by blood infusion

Friday, Jan. 31, 2020
News 12 at 6/NBC at 7

Andrew Padgett holding on for comfort at the hospital.

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Next time you're thinking twice about donating blood, think of Andrew Padgett. Thirty minutes or less out of somebody's day, saved this five-year-old's life.

Andrew Padgett is happy to be back playing with Legos, wrestling with dad, and thinking about going fishing, because just a couple weeks ago, he was in a hospital bed, unable to do anything.

"My wife and I knew once we got into the big room in the ER with all the bright lights, we knew something was serious," Andrew's dad, Shane, said.

Andrew was born with a condition called hereditary spherocystosis. This condition affects his red blood cells, so when Andrew got the flu on Christmas day, things went downhill quickly.

"When it's your kid, you wish you can just take their pain, and you just reverse it, and you take the pain, take what they're dealing with, so your kid will be okay." Shane said all they could do was trust in God for their little boy to get stronger.

Thankfully, something worked. A blood transfusion, supplied by a local donation center, brought the rosey-redness back into Andrew's pale, white cheeks.

"We're extremely grateful to those who give blood because they're just taking their time out of their day to stop in and give a little bit of what's inside of them, not knowing that it's going to impact someone," Padgett said.

Ashley Whitaker, director of community resources at Shepeard Community Blood Center, said each pint of blood counts.

"When you donate here you really are helping somebody in your community to get better or even a second chance at life," Whitaker said.

Shepeard Community Blood Center is always in need of blood donations. They supply blood to 20 hospitals around Georgia and South Carolina. Whitaker said, "I think when you see a story like Andrews, it really brings home how important it is that people come in and they donate and that they donate regularly."

With four blood infusions, Andrew started feeling like himself again, and his family said they couldn't be more grateful.

"Thank you for saving his life, thank you for keeping my family in tact," Padgett said. He doesn't know who the blood came from, but he knows whoever they are, they wanted to help somebody.

"Every drop of that blood, we don't know who that blood came from, we don't know if it came from somebody who's struggling with things in their life, we don't know if it comes from a republican or democrat, we don't know if it came from somebody with light skin or dark skin, we don't know. All I know is that's blood, and that saved a life." He said no matter the condition, we should always try to help our neighbors.

"I would say, thank you very much for giving blood to me," Andrew said.

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