Blood donations save babies’ lives

Local News
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NEW BERLIN, Ill. (WCIA) — One man will never stop giving blood because donations saved his children’s lives. The Beard family wouldn’t exist today without the generosity of those who donate.

Josh Beard and his wife, Chelsea, always dreamed of having a big family. But, after the birth of their first son, Milo in 2014, they quickly noticed something was wrong.

“Found out I was RN-sensitized which meant my body started producing antibodies that was attacking his red blood cells and making him become anemic. He had to have the one transfusion.”

A transfusion saved his life. Milo is now a healthy, happy boy. However, after Milo’s experience, the Beard family had to take a step back.

Doctors told them, if they wanted to try for another child, the same complications would occur.

“Is it smart? Is it safe to go for a second? They reassured us they would be there for us for anything that we need, guided us and let us know what we could expect. With that, we decided to try for two.”

Two years after having Milo, the Beards were expecting again. But, 23 weeks into the pregnancy, their unborn child had to have five in-utero blood transfusions.

“72 days in the NICU with Brooks. It was a long time, but we knew we are kind of getting into so, we were a little bit more prepared.”

A few months later, they welcomed their baby boy, Brooks. Evan after giving birth, Brooks needed another five transfusions to stay alive. ‘Without blood donors, neither one of our kids would be here. It literally was life-or-death, have blood save their lives.”

It was then the Beard family knew just how much one person’s generosity to give means to them.

“Both of our boys wouldn’t be here without it. For someone to go out of their day to us, it’s saved they boys lives. They wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that.”

Just this past summer, the family hosted a blood drive called The Beard Brothers Give Back. It was their way of saying thank you to donors and give back what they used to help save their children’s lives.

The blood drive was also a fundraiser for the Triple Heart Foundation. It raised $1,500.

Next week, WCIA-3 News hosts a blood drive in honor of Dave Benton and Robert Reese. Locations in Urbana, Decatur, Springfield, Danville and Mattoon will be open from 9 am – 7 pm.

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