Blood drive honors local 15-year-old

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Breanna Saige had surgery on Jan. 15, once during and once after the surgery she had life saving blood transfusions due to her having Von Williebrand Disease. Contributed photo

Community donation event set for Thursday in Shell Knob

People that donate blood assume it goes on to help save a life, never knowing the true impact of their actions.

But, blood donations in Barry County can help the local community, including neighbors, friends, co-workers and classmates, which is evident in the story of Breanna Saige, a 15-year-old Cassville sophomore.

While local 15-year-old Breanna Saige has to be careful of physical activities to avoid injury due to Von Williebrand Disease, she still enjoys drawing anime characters. Contributed photo

Saige suffers from Von Williebrand Disease, a lifelong blood condition which stops her blood from clotting due to a protein in the blood that helps form clots not performing properly.

Her mother, Nicole Walker, said they found out about Breanna’s Von Williebrand Disease when she was awaiting surgery for her scoliosis.

“She went in for a routine physical for a school check up, and they found the scoliosis,” Walker said. “We went to a spine specialist in St. Louis, and right before surgery, she had a 50-degree angle in her spine.”

Breanna’s surgery was originally scheduled two years ago.

“But, it was canceled,” she said. “The labs found something wrong with her clotting factors. After more testing, they found it was Von Williebrand.”

The scoliosis surgery was rescheduled with another surgeon who specializes in blood disorders.

“During the surgery, they had to do one blood transfusion,” Walker said. “Then after that, they had to do another because she kept bleeding out while healing.”

Breanna and her mother are still learning about this disease and how it will affect her life.

“She has to be very careful and watch for injuries so she doesn’t bleed too much,” Walker said. “We see a hematologist soon, where we will learn more and come up with a long term plan.”

Breanna and her mother know now that blood transfusions are life-saving.

“My husband holds regular blood drives at his rehab center in Shell Knob,” she said. “We have one on [Thursday, April 1], in honor of Breanna.

“Local blood helps our local community. You never know when that one person with rare blood will donate and help one person who needs it.”

Breanna’s surgery was on Jan. 15, and she is still recovering.

“She can’t do gym anymore, or other active activities,” Walker said. “She has to be careful, but she still enjoys drawing.”

After rods and screws were placed in her spine, her back has straightened out quite a bit.

The Breanna Saige Community Blood Drive will be on Thursday from noon to 6 p.m. at the His House Foundation in Shell Knob, located at 23837 State Highway 39.

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