Newborn babies seem small and helpless, but it turns out that from the moment they're born they could have the power to save lives. That's because of the natural connection between mom and baby. The blood removed from the umbilical cord can help the thousands of people waiting for a blood transplant. If you didn't know about that you aren't alone, but a Heartland family is on a mission to make sure everyone does.
Four-year-old Rayni Worley's parent say she wouldn't be alive if one woman hadn't donated cord blood, that's why the issue is so important to them!
"Save children's lives everyday, that's our goal. Our daughter was saved by an umbilical cord transplant," Rayni's dad Jason says. Rayni will turn five next month. A big accomplishment for a little girl, who started having serious health problems at just two months old. Rayni's mom Michelle says, "We took her to St. Louis and they did emergency surgery on her and found she had lung diseases that people with weak immune systems get." A few months later, Rayni had a cord blood transplant to make her immune system stronger.
Cord blood is the blood left over from the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. Rayni's parents say the transplant she got at a St. Louis hospital saved her life, and now they want to get the word out about cord blood donations, trying to convince Heartland doctors to do the same.
They've set up what they call the "Rayni Day Miracle Foundation" named after their little miracle. "It's free, harmless, they never take a cord from a complicated pregnancy, just an ideal one. We want every doctor who delivers babies to be aware of the free service we give," Jason says.
Michelle and Jason don't know the person who donated their baby's cord blood, but they're thankful it was there when Rayni needed it. She still has a lot of health problems. Eighty percent of her lungs are scarred and she's on a lung transplant list. An IV constantly feeds medicine into her blood stream. A lot for a four year old girl to go through, but her parents are confident she'll make it. "She's pretty much like a normal little girl, she likes to run and play and swing and read," Jason says. "Hopefully we can keep her healthy for a long time," Michelle says.