Blood drive to help sick 2-year-old
by Jennifer Cohron
Aug 08, 2010 | 2831 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A blood drive set for Monday will help local 2-year-old Madison Hester who needs a heart transplant. (Photo Special to the Eagle)
A blood drive set for Monday will help local 2-year-old Madison Hester who needs a heart transplant. (Photo Special to the Eagle)
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The American Red Cross is hosting a special blood drive on Monday for a local 2-year-old who needs a heart transplant.

Madison Hester was diagnosed in October with cardiomyopathy, which means her heart is enlarged and doesn't pump like it should. The left side of her heart does not work at all.

"Her heart covers the whole top part of her chest instead of just the left side," said her mother, Elizabeth Pate.

Madison has to take several medicines every day just to stay alive. She needs them in the morning to jump start her heart and then again at night to slow it down so it doesn't overwork itself while she sleeps.

She also visits her cardiologists every two weeks and receives regular injections.

Madison almost died before being diagnosed with heart failure last fall. She had symptoms of a common cold that never got better.

She was taken to Children's Hospital, where doctors discovered her temperature was in the 80s. She stayed on life support for weeks and needed numerous blood transfusions.

Doctors said she had heart, kidney and liver failure. At one point, they told her parents to call in family and friends for a last good-bye.

But Madison defied the odds and is now on the list for a new heart. However, that surgery will require even more transfusions.

That's why her mother is hoping for a good turnout at Monday's blood drive.

"She has had to get blood from south Alabama because there just wasn't enough here for her. When she has her transplant, I want there to be extra," Pate said.

The bloodmobile will be parked at Check into Cash on Hwy. 78 West in Jasper from noon to 6 p.m. on Monday.

All presenting donors will receive an American Red Cross T-shirt or free round of golf to Robert Trent Jones.