Lydia, Micro Preemie and Blood Recipient
Lydia started first grade in 2017. She is smart, caring, and a proud big sister. But life hasn’t been easy for Lydia and her parents, Tony and Kristen Moser, because her story began in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Due to complications with preeclampsia, Lydia was born at 24 weeks gestation and needed five blood transfusions throughout her 5 ½ month stay in the NICU.
“Blood transfusions literally saved Lydia’s life,” said Kristen, recalling a few scary experiences in the NICU when the doctors believed she might die. “The transfusions were sometimes our last hope. We are very blessed blood was available when she needed it.”
Prior to Lydia’s birth, the Mosers hadn’t thought about the importance of blood donation. Now, Tony donates as often as he can.
“We are so grateful for the donors who selflessly take time to give blood. Until we had a very critically ill child, we didn’t realize the true value of blood donation,” Kristen said.
When Lydia was finally able to go home, complications from her premature birth continued. She has cerebral palsy and periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), which are holes in the white matter of her brain from prematurity. For the first five years of life, Lydia depended on oxygen off and on and still requires the use of a feeding tube. She has spent countless hours in physical therapy, but doesn’t let her diagnosis define her. She can walk with a walker, communicates through sign language, and will sometimes try solid foods.
“I didn’t know starting life like Lydia did was even possible,” Kristen said. “Educating others about prematurity, the risks and premature infant’s needs - like access to blood, I hope to give other parents a better chance at knowing what to expect and know there is hope when it might not seem like it.”