RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Henrico mom is pleading for blood donations as her 22-year-old son battles an aggressive form of lymphoma at MCV Hospital in Richmond.
“Today is the worst that it’s been,” Katie Troy said, talking about her son’s condition. “This morning, his platelets are dangerously low and they don’t have enough to give him. So, we’re just hoping some come in.”
Troy said since her son, Robert Mason Wood, was diagnosed last month and has required multiple transfusions every day for his treatment. She said the blood shortage has gotten worse and is urging others to donate.
“In the long run, he wouldn’t be able to survive if he didn’t get platelets,” she explained.
Dr. India Sisler, the clinic director of pediatric hematology and oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, calls the shortage “dire.”
“It is absolutely impacting patients,” she said. “It is scary as a healthcare worker, and as a mom and a person living in Central Virginia.”
Sisler said the shortage is driven in part by COVID-19 and a workforce shortage. She explained the health system works with blood banks on a daily basis to manage their current supply, but there’s no timeline on when levels will return to normal.
“Several patients were trauma patients or needed large volumes of blood – we could very quickly deplete the supplies that we have,” Sisler said.
She added the holidays may also be a contributing factor.
“I think we’ve seen a worsening over the last couple of weeks as we come out of the holidays so we’re hoping that part will get better in the short term,” Sisler said.
For Troy, donations could be life-saving.
“It would mean life to somebody,” she said. “Just a few hours of your day would mean life to somebody.”
Sisler said the best way to donate is at your local Red Cross. You can find one near you online here.