Family teams up with MI Blood for blood drive in honor of late d - WNEM TV 5

Family teams up with MI Blood for blood drive in honor of late daughter

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

A Mid-Michigan family is asking others to give the gift of life in honor of the little life they lost.

Their baby died at just 109-days-old after needing several blood and platelet transfusions to deal with her medical condition.

Her parents are honoring her memory in hopes people will give others what their daughter needed most.

“That was a hard time. That whole year was a hard, hard time,” said Melanie Pesta, mom.

Pesta gave birth to her daughter Josephine on May 26, 2015.

“I labored actually all day. And they finally decided at about 8 o’clock that we were going to have to do an emergency C-section. We found out later that her cord was too short and that she never would have descended,” Pesta said.

Unfortunately for baby Josie, things were going to get tougher. She was born very sick and needed immediate attention.

“We found out that she was really sick. Her platelet level was at 9,000 when it should have been at 200,000. And she received her first platelet transfusion at about 12-hours-old,” Pesta said.

The family learned Josephine suffered from Noonan syndrome, a disorder that is typically genetic.

She underwent nine blood and platelet transfusions, but she passed away at home with her family at just 109-days-old.

“We found out after she passed away that it wasn’t genetic in Josie’s case. She was one in a million to get this randomly,” Pesta said.

Although it hurts, Pesta said it has inspired her and her family to raise awareness about blood and platelet donation. Especially after having to receive her own blood transfusion while giving birth to her second daughter, Vivian.

“A lot of people don’t even know about donating platelets. It’s a component of blood and some people just need the platelets,” Pesta said.

They partnered with Michigan Blood to host blood drives in memory of Josephine.

“People would say, ‘what can we do? Can we send you money? Can we send you meals?’ We didn’t need any of that and I think it was my husband who came up with, ‘just do something bigger than yourself,’” Pesta said.

The Do Something Bigger Than Yourself blood drive takes places on Thursday, May 31 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Wheeler Road Church of Christ in Midland.

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