17 Years Ago…
As Railee Creech joined thousands of other students heading off to college for the first time this fall, her family couldn’t help but reflect on the miracle of blood donation that allowed them to enjoy this season of life. Both Railee and her mother Holly faced near tragedy in 1995.
Holly, who had already lost babies prematurely, became critically ill months before Railee’s due date. Doctors decided to deliver Railee and told Holly and her husband Robert that there was less than a five percent chance of the baby’s survival. Railee was born weighing only one pound.
Meanwhile, Holly lay in the Intensive Care Unit, fighting for her life. Due to a critical blood disorder, known as thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), she required blood. With the help of innovative therapeutic blood treatments that had just become available through the Blood Institute, and more than 300 donors, Holly survived.
In the months that followed, Railee had delicate heart surgery and struggled to grow. “She was the smallest baby the hospital had ever cared for, and she, too, received blood donations,” said Robert. Though neither mom nor baby were expected to live, both are alive and well today thanks to faithful donors.
Railee graduated from Norman High School in May, and is now a freshman at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Because computerized donor records didn’t exist at the time of Railee’s birth, it is impossible to individually thank the donors whose blood saved Holly and Railee. But at each milestone in Railee’s life, her parents reflect on those who provided the opportunity for their miracle. That year was one the Creech family will never forget. And having endured it, they have dearly treasured the subsequent 17.
Pictured above - Robert, Railee, Ashlee and Holly Creech.
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