9-year-old Jaiyah Martinez deals with severe blood disorder following frequent nose bleeds

Published: Jun. 1, 2018 at 1:16 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2018 at 9:15 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - If it weren't for the Children's Hospital at University Medical Center, Jaiyah Martinez would be unaware of a life-threatening disease she'll deal with for the rest of her life.

At the age of two, Jaiyah woke up with her pillow covered in blood after a nosebleed just would not stop.

"We took her to the daughter numerous time and they said it was just dry," Renee Martinez, Jaiyah's mother, said. "That wasn't the case."

The Martinez family then turned to UMC where hematologists diagnosed her with a severe case of Von Willebrand, a blood disorder.

"It is scary," Dr. Mohamad Al-Rahawan said. "It can be life-threatening. If you bleed enough blood, you may not be able to wake up because you're so anemic and if you don't wake up and address that bleed you could potentially be in particularly dangerous situation."

Dr. Al-Rahawan explains that Jaiyah is missing a protein that helps clot any bleeding, whether that's a cut or nosebleed, or prevent easy bruising.

"The fact that she grew up with it, makes it a less of a deal for her because that's who she is but it's a big deal," Al-Rahawan said. "So many times she had to be admitted to the hospital. Sometimes we had to do interventions and infusions in the infusion center. Occasionally, we had to modify treatment and treatment surgeries because of the bleeding tendencies she had."

A medication helps replace that missing protein, Humate-P. Because of the frequency at which this needed to be administered, a port was installed in Jaiyah's chest for easy infusions.

This disease poses a danger for the rest of Jaiyah's life, whether it be any sort of surgery, pregnancy or accident that may result in a loss of blood. Because of that, medication is on hand for any sort of needed infusion.

Jaiyah received most treatment at the Southwest Cancer Center, a place her grandfather also was treated for leukemia before his death.

"She's been a very strong little girl for what she's going through," Jaiyah's grandmother Josie Martinez said. "It reminds me of my husband. That's the way my husband was. He was a fighter. He would never let his disease bother him. He would just keep going just one day at a time. That's what I tell my granddaughter just one day at a time."

Because of the frequent nosebleeds and attempts to stop them, Jaiyah will need nose reconstruction surgery when she is older.

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