Within the first 24 hours of Cole’s life, he received enough blood to replace all the blood in his body. This drastic measure was necessary to deal with extreme Rh incompatibility: although Cole’s mom Kerrissa has Rh-negative blood, he has Rh-positive blood, and the RhoGAM shots typically used during pregnancy for Rh-negative mothers were ineffective for Kerrissa. Antibodies that Kerrissa developed were transferred to Cole in the womb and caused his red blood cells to break down, making him extremely jaundiced.
As Kerrissa watched her newborn son, she could see him turn from yellow to pink thanks to the blood transfusion he received. Still, his condition was so serious that he spent two weeks at DeVos Children’s Hospital before he could go home, and during that time he needed two more transfusions to replace the blood in his body. Today, he’s a happy, energetic little guy with no memories of those difficult weeks in DeVos Children’s Hospital, one of 36 Michigan hospitals that rely on Michigan Blood for their entire blood supply.
Both of Kerrissa’s parents are regular blood donors with Michigan Blood – one reason that Kerrissa never doubted that the blood Cole needed would be there.
“It’s because of blood donors like my parents and the people here at Michigan Blood that Cole is alive,” says
Kerrissa. “Thank you for everything you do.”