This is Cody, a 28 year old man with recessive dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). The doctors told his parents after he was born not to expect him to live past 3. At age 28, he has defied the odds and continues along with the hand that has been dealt him. EB, the rare skin disease he was born with host many other physical issues, one of which is anemia. On this particular day I followed Cody on his bi-annual trip to the hospital for a blood transfusion. A much needed procedure that without it would leave him wasted.
Blood transfusion? No problem. Most of us would think. But what seems like a piffle procedure actually translate to absolute misery for some one with EB. Extremely sensitive skin does not take kindly to needles. One can only hope that the I.V. is set properly the first time. In the past Cody has been lucky enough to see the I.V. set the first time. On this particular day it took 3 different nurses, 4 tries and a ruptured vein to be successful. This was no fault on the nurses. Setting an I.V. on a patient with EB is no easy task.
The day of Cody’s blood transfusion starts with a check-in at 8am. He will receive two bags of blood, or 2 pints. After the blood is administered he will leave the hospital 10 hours later. Receiving blood through a transfusion for an EB patient is rough on the body. The body must accept the blood before the patient can start feeling good again.