“Your donation matters. It directly affects patients like my daughter who so critically rely on plasma therapies. Octapharma Plasma donors have been a lifesaver to my family.” – Jennifer, mother and patient advocate.
When Jennifer’s daughter, Bella, first became sick in 2014, she was oblivious to the long road ahead. It started with strep: a common childhood illness that, with proper medication, resolves in a week’s time. However, Bella’s strep persisted.
Bella was sent to the emergency room, where an abundance of blood tests and medications were administered. Still, nothing remedied her condition. Her strep was followed by the flu, then compartment syndrome, and even rotavirus. As Jennifer helplessly watched her once perfectly healthy and lively daughter deteriorate to a shell of her former self, she was met with frustrated doctors who accused her of not giving Bella the medicines they prescribed. With her daughter being chronically ill, Jennifer was not able to be mentally and sometimes physically present at work, frustrating some co-workers and adding to her stress.
The family was beyond its breaking point. Months turned into years as they continued its tireless search for the root cause of Bella’s health issues. As a mother, Jennifer felt powerless watching her daughter suffer.
But a phone call can change everything.
One day, the phone rang at the family’s home with Bella’s new specialist doctor on the other line. “Are you sitting down?” he cautioned. He diagnosed Bella with a severe immunoglobulin deficiency. People with IgG deficiency are more likely to get infections, which is why Bella endured a long string of illnesses throughout the years. When your body is sick and feels it is under attack, it makes special proteins called immunoglobulins or antibodies. These antibodies are made by plasma cells. However, if you have an immunoglobulin deficiency like Bella, your body lacks these very important cells.
Every 28 days, Bella receives Octapharma's human normal immunoglobulin solution, which fuels her now active and normal teenage lifestyle. Without it, she would not be able to be a spirited member of her high school’s pep squad in San Antonio or have high aspirations to enter the physically demanding United States Air Force. Because of plasma donors from around the country, Bella is able to lead a relatively normal life.
Her mother, Jennifer, continues to be amazed by her daughter’s many talents and abilities. Any chance she gets, Jennifer educates those around her on the importance of plasma donation, and reflects, “Your donation matters. It directly affects patients like my daughter who so critically rely on plasma therapies. Octapharma Plasma donors have been a lifesaver to my family.”
The power of plasma positively impacts the lives of thousands like Bella and her family every day.
For more donor stories visit www.octapharmaplasma.com.