Chesterfield girl in need of blood as Red Cross faces severe shortages due to coronavirus outbreak

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Red Cross says they’re dealing with a severe shortage of donations as the coronavirus pandemic continues. As thousands of blood drives close across the country amid fear of the disease, one Chesterfield girl in need of blood is hoping to change people’s outlook.

Meet six-year-old Beckett Tapscott.

She was born with severe thalassemia, a blood disorder that causes her to body to make an inadequate amount of hemoglobin.

“She is actually on the most serious end of the disease,” said Marcus Tapscott, Beckett’s dad. “She makes no good hemoglobin.”

Beckett Tapscott

Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from one’s lungs to the rest of their body.

Little Beckett relies on blood transfusions every three weeks. The Red Cross says more than 4,500 blood drives have been canceled across the country, losing out on roughly 150,000 donations as a result of the illness.

The Tapscott family is worried that blood drives cancellations across the country could result in Little Beckett being turned away from getting a donation. 

“I think for so many people, they don’t think about where that blood goes,” Marcus Tapscott said. “It impacts her, really, really badly.”

“It’s terrifying,” adds Morgan Tapscott, Beckett’s mom.

Mom and dad are doing their part. Marcus Tapscott donated blood Thursday morning, telling 8News, “I donate as often as I can.”

But they need the help of others.

The Red Cross says amid the coronavirus pandemic, they are taking measures to keep donors and staff safe. Some precautionary measures include prescreening of donors and disinfecting more often.

“Just this morning, there were definitely less than 10 people at the donation center,” Marcus Tapscott said.

The Tapscott family

“There’s just a whole range of, in our clinic, patients that need blood; it’s not just Beckett,” Morgan Tapscott added.

The Red Cross says that the best resource for finding an open blood drive is through their website. Those who want to donate are also encouraged to make an appointment to ensure CDC guidelines are followed and rooms don’t overcrowd.

In the interim, as a result of the blood shortage, the Tapscott family says they’re faced with a tough reality.

“This is gonna be something that will likely impact us for the next few months at a minimum,” Marcus Tapscott said.

As for Beckett, she and her infectious smile are staying positive in such unforeseen times, only asking one thing of the public.

“Go donate the blood hehe.”

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