MOTHER DAUGHTER LOVE - Lacombe resident Parker Berry with her mom Carrie Ann at the Partners For Life breakfast hosted by Canadian Blood Services Sept. 20th. Carlie Connolly/Lacombe Express

Lacombe family shares how blood donations saved their daughter

The family now donates every chance they can, and Parker is there cheering them on

Eight-year-old Lacombe resident Parker Berry’s life was saved by those willing to donate blood.

Canadian Blood Services held a Partners For Life breakfast Sept. 20th at Sheraton Red Deer Hotel to engage with new companies and give them an opportunity to find out more about what Canadian Blood Services does in the community.

By joining Partners For Life, a nation-wide program designed for corporate and community organizations, organizations make a commitment to save lives by donating blood as a team.

Onhand at the breakfast was eight-year-old Parker who’s story was told by her mom, Carrie Ann Berry, through Shaun Richer, territory manager, donor relations of Canadian Blood Services of Red Deer and Central Alberta.

On May 27th, 2016 Parker was a happy and healthy seven-year-old that was awarded an overall achievement award and scholarship at her dance recital.

“Exactly one week later at 11 p.m. she was being rushed from the Lacombe Hospital to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton in an ambulance,” said Richer.

Some of her symptoms at the time included fever, a bleeding nose and bruising.

“It happened so fast and you don’t even realize it at the time but if we wouldn’t have had blood at the hospital when she arrived there she wouldn’t have survived a couple of more hours,” said mom, Carrie Ann.

When an EMT read Parker’s stats to the admitting nurse, her platelet count was one and the normal range is 150 to 400.

“After being admitted the doctors began doing tests that showed Parker had lost 40 per cent of her blood, was internally bleeding and her organs were shutting down.”

She was later hooked up to an IV and started receiving her first blood transfusion.

She also later began receiving her first platelet transfusion, along with her first IVIG transfusion to boost her immune system and fight the infection.

“Over the next three days she continued to receive transfusions as well as doing tests to start the process of diagnosing her illness.”

On the fourth day in the hospital, Parker received the bone marrow biopsy to rule out cancer, which also came out negative.

“After one week, the hematologist diagnosed Parker with ITP, which is Immune Thrombocytopenia, a rare blood clotting disorder.”

A child with ITP has a low number of platelets, which causes them to bruise and bleed more easily.

Parker later began a successful steroid treatment, and on day 11 was discharged from the hospital with a count of 88 and only days later her platelets went back down to four.

In September, she went back to dance even though she knew she had to do regular blood tests, and this year on May 27th she received her five-year award at her dance recital and made it through the summer without a single blood test.

“The hope is that her ITP was acute and short-lived. Plain and simple, blood donors saved Parker’s life and gave her a future,” said Richer.

Carrie Ann said Parker is doing amazingly well.

She said her steroid treatments have worked for her, so she was able to go back to skating, hockey, dance and riding her bike.

The family now donates every chance they can, and Parker is always there cheering them on.

“We’re hoping that by being here today her story will convince some people to go and donate and we can save someone else’s life,” said Carrie Ann.

The family currently reside in Lacombe.

Just Posted

City of Lacombe installs new skating rink at LMC

Lacombe residents can now skate among the LMC Christmas lights

Cops, Pops and Pizza in Lacombe raises $1,700 for Special Olympics Alberta

Annual event part of national Law Enforcement Torch Run campaign

Blackfalds RCMP officer’s firearm discharged in struggle

Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP assist after police vehicle stolen

Lacombe Ram Zach Schwab wins City Offensive Player of the Year

Wide receiver hoping to play football at the next level

WATCH: CP Holiday Train supports Lacombe Food Bank

Madeline Merlo and JUNO Award nominee Scott Helman both performed

AHS: Albertans reminded to be food safe this holiday season

Important to wash your hands often and prepare foods properly to reduce risk of food-borne illness

Two adults, two youths from Maskwacis charged in ATV, gun theft

Wetaskiwin RCMP Investigate Break, Enter & Theft and Weapons Offences - Arrests

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

‘He was good for the West:’ Sadness, surprise in Saskatchewan over Scheer

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and his predecessor, Brad Wall, both thanked Andrew Scheer

Johnson claims Brexit mandate with new conservative majority

Conservative Party wins 365 seats in the House of Commons

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Alberta to change drug coverage for 26,000 patients, expects to save up to $380M

Patients being treated with biologics on government-sponsored drug plans must switch to biosimilars

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Most Read