School bells ring. Locker doors slam. Halls, empty and silent all summer, overflow with the chatter and giggles of teenage girls and the manly voices of young fellas.
Classes proceed. Teachers teach. Assigned reading, homework, and project rubrics fill student agendas. Sporting events resume. Bleachers fill. Cheerleaders bound into their positions. Players charge onto the fields.
High school days. Exhilarating. Challenging. Momentous. Unless you’re at home…confined to a recliner…unable to share in the giggles, the ballgames, and yes, even the homework.
Such are the days for my sweet niece, Ivey.
On the weekend before the start of her junior year, Ivey began experiencing pain and bruising around her knee. Swelling started. Within a day or so, her knee was intensely painful and covered by a massive blackish bruise. She headed to the ER. Infusions of RiaStap, concentrated fibrinogen, were administered.
You see, earlier this year, Ivey was diagnosed with hypofibrinogenemia, a blood disorder. Her blood lacks fibrinogen, essential to blood clot formation. It is very rare. So rare, in fact, that Duke Hospital doctors had never even seen a case and didn’t carry the medication necessary for treatment. Fortunately, they were able to order the drug.
However, after repeated infusions, the doctors were unable to stop the bleeding.
Ivey’s hopes for heading to school were unremittingly delayed.
Further testing indicated that not only is Ivey deficient in fibrinogen Factor 1 that forms the clot, but also in Factor 13 that stabilizes it. Without Factor 13, the clot forms then falls apart. Forms and falls apart. Forms and falls apart.
A person’s chances of having hypofibrinogenemia are 1 in a million. The chances of having the Factor 13 deficiency are 1 in 5 million.
A rare disorder for a special, rare young lady.
After her most recent visit to the hospital, where Ivey was subjected to nearly 6 hours of drawing blood, testing, cross-matching, and receiving a blood transfusion (which her body tried to fight), Ivey wrote on her Facebook wall:
I want to thank the 10 people who took the time to give their blood to me. I don’t know your names but God does and you will be blessed for it. So all my Facebook friends, the next time you see a blood drive, take the time to give your blood because you never know who it is going to help. Thanks again, Ivey 🙂
Her next post said:
“You know, I just thought about something, there is one person who gave His blood so I would have life and I do know His name . . . Jesus Christ ♥”
At a time when it would be easy, perhaps even understandable for someone to slip into despair and self-pity, Ivey followed the command in Scripture that says “In everything give thanks….” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ASV)
What a testimony! What an example for us all.
Bio: Kristi Butler is embracing her first year of retirement after more than 20 years in the elementary classroom. She is excited about her promotion to Grandmommy and homeschool Mom. With 30 years of marriage under her belt, three beautiful daughters married and flown from the nest, she is so thrilled to have an amazing 12 year old daughter, adopted from China, still at home. Kristi loves quiet mornings in the Word, mountain sunsets, road trips with friends, and groundhogs. She enjoys inspirational writing and speaking for women’s events. She has written for a Focus on the Family parenting newsletter, for Clubhouse, Jr. magazine, and is a featured blogger for Carolina Parent magazine. She is a contributor to Life Lessons from Moms and Life Lessons from Dads and is the author of two children’s books, Gracie’s Groundhog Day Surprise and Grover Groundhog Is Not Hibernating This Christmas! Grab a cup of coffee, your favorite snack (Hers will be dark chocolate.) and join her at A Matter of Grace for a devotion, a time of worship, or a glimpse at what God is speaking to her heart.