- By Laurel J. Kelly
In the Loop: ‘Pints for Preemies’ challenge helps Mayo’s youngest — and tiniest — patients
As a nurse in one of Mayo Clinic's intensive care units, Jenny MacIntyre knows all too well the role blood and organ donations can play in reversing the fortunes of critically ill patients. So much so that in addition to being a regular at Mayo Clinic's Blood Donor Program, she's also donated one of her kidneys and part of her liver to help save the lives of some of those patients.
Two years ago the importance of selfless giving hit home when Jenny's daughter, Eleanor, was born three-and-a-half months too soon. As this story on Mayo Clinic's online patient community, Mayo Clinic Connect, details, at the time of her birth, young Eleanor weighed just 1 pound, 15 ounces. She spent the first 143 days of her life inside Mayo Clinic's Neonatal intensive care unit, where she received the highly specialized care and multiple blood transfusions she needed to survive.
"Eleanor received blood draws every day for the first few months and sometimes numerous times a day," Jenny says. "That amount of blood volume taken from a baby that small was a lot for her little body to replenish, especially since she didn't have a mature system to start with."
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.