Give for Texans – Josey’s Story
6-year-old fights unknown disease with support from blood transfusions
“Josey was only 4 years old when her disease started,” said Emily Roman of her daughter. “She started getting migraines and crying all the time, not my normal Josey.”
The change in the bubbly and energetic girl, who alternately loved barrel racing and dressing like a princess, was profound. Doctors found that her blood count kept getting lower.
“Josey has scarring in her bones and it’s getting worse,” Emily said.
Yet, after many health care visits, Josey’s precise condition remains a mystery.
Currently, medical professionals are leaning toward childhood autoimmune fibrosis, but Josey must undergo additional tests and biopsies for a definitive answer. It is a difficult but necessary regimen for the animated youngster who loves playing outdoors with her two young brothers and their pet bulldog.
Now 6, Josey gets frequent transfusions to ensure her body has enough blood cells.
Treatments take place at a Fort Worth hospital, a trek of more than 140 miles each way from the family’s home in the Texas city of Brownwood. Josey sometimes only has to make the journey once a month, but sometimes as often as four, based on her blood count. Each transfusion takes six to eight hours and can require from one to three units.
“You can literally see the difference her transfusions make,” Emily said. “Before each visit, she is just so very pale from low blood count. But, after her transfusions, there’s a visible change. It’s almost like night and day in how it helps her.”
As the family continues to seek a conclusive diagnosis, Josey wants to help children going through similar experiences.
“Josey’s goal in her life is to get as many people as she can to donate blood and know how important it is,” Emily said.
Blood donors save lives: Donate at a Carter BloodCare donor center or mobile blood drive near you. Help patients in need by calling 800-366-2834 today.
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