This week continue to introduce you to families who have been changed by the Children's Miracle Network. NewsChannel 11's Julia Bruck introduces us to a 3 1/2 year old who isn't letting Sickle Cell Anemia stop her from being a princess.
When this precious princess comes dancing through her castle eyes perk up. Lovingly named Precious Kelly, this 3 1/2 year roams her castle otherwise known as the Southwest Cancer Center in Lubbock, on most days with a smile.
Her mother Demetra Lewis says, "They're great here. We come in and she knows everybody here and it's not like she's talking to a stranger or anything."
That's because since she was one month old, Precious has been treated here for Sickle Cell Anemia. Lewis says when she learned of her daughter's disease her heart was broken.
"I felt like my world was coming down. I never through my baby would have anything wrong with her," said Demetra.
Pediatric Oncology Nurse at UMC's Southwest Cancer Center, Heather Donaghey says, "Sickle Cell is a blood disease, it's a hematologic disorder."
Initially this princess, who's also quite the cook, was put on Penicillin and every 6 months come to the cancer center for blood tests. But then 6 months ago, Precious Kelly had a Sickle Cell crisis, causing her a great deal of pain.
"Ever since then we've had a port put in her which as a central line. She's been getting blood transfusions about every 3 weeks," says Donaghey.
"On a transfusion day we stay here from 9:15 a.m. until 4 or 5 in the evening," says Lewis.
Sickle Cell is a common hereditary blood disorder, almost only in African Americans and occurs in about 1 of every 375 live births.
"The shape of the blood cells instead of being round, like they typically are they're sickular. So they're curved, which it makes it easier for them to clump together and you end up having a lot of problems," says Donaghey.
Those with Sickle Cell can also have an enlarged spleen and low iron and hemoglobin levels. But luckily this cooking princess still has her spleen and is getting care from a Children's Miracle Network hospital, right here in Lubbock.
"This is easy access for me and for her. So we catch a ride here and stay here and we don't have to worry about going out of town," says Lewis.
Donaghey gives Precious Kelly her treatment and is normally assisted by the princess herself.
"We did it, we did it," adds Precious Kelly.
"Even those kids with chronic diseases and sometimes terminal diseases, there are many benefits to them and they can still be happy kids," says Donaghey.
So remember when thinking of giving to this year's Children Miracle Network celebration, you're not only helping a cooking princess and medical assistant, but also hundreds of others just like Princess Precious Kelly.
"They've given me my healthy baby back. They've given me Precious," says Lewis.
Due to Precious Kelly's disease she will need treatment for the rest of her life, but Donaghey says once she puts on more weight, Precious Kelly will be able to use medication to help control her Sickle Cell Anemia.
|Children's Miracle Network - Lubbock Site|