If you stop to think about it for a minute, Adelyn Troutman of Ahwatukee has had needles stuck in her little arms far more times than any 2-year-old should – 33 to be exact, the number of blood transfusions she’s received since she was born.
For Addy, those transfusions make the difference between life and death.
As each month wears on, her liveliness seeps quickly from her.
She takes more naps, rapidly loses her child-like enthusiasm and becomes paler with each passing day.
Eventually, she must be taken to the hospital, where doctors stick a needle in her little arm to give her a blood transfusion. Otherwise, she will die.
Addy suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Diamond-Blackfan anemia, which prohibits her body from making red blood cells.
Those cells have a relatively short life span, so by the end of four weeks after her last transfusion, they’ve all died off, forcing the need for another 200 to 240 millimeters of blood.
On April 21, Addy’s parents, Matt and Kami Troutman, will have the support of about a dozen Ahwatukee businesses as they hold another blood drive as a way to thank the many people who have come to their daughter’s aid.
The drive will be 8 a.m.-1 p.m. April 21 at Desert Foothills United Methodist Church, 2156 E. Liberty Lane, Ahwatukee.
“Addy has been doing great thanks to all of the wonderful blood donors out there,” he father said. “The last four or five times, it has been more difficult to get the IV in. They typically do the same area but it’s getting increasingly harder to use those same spots.
“Luckily, she has her mom by her side at every transfusion to help her through the frustration of being poked multiple times.”
The process is agonizing for all three of them.
Addy and her mom go in around 7:30 a.m. and by the time the entire process is done – IV insertion, blood order, transfusion – it’s around 3 p.m.
“This is quicker than it used to be,” Matt said. “Now that she’s bigger, she can get the blood in quicker. It used to have to run over three to four, and now it can be run in two hours just because her body is now able to handle that speed of flow.”
This month, Addy also will get an MRI to check on the status of her liver and heart, since they are both threatened by too much iron as a result of the numerous transfusions.”
Twice a year, the Troutmans hold a blood drive because they have seen first-hand the importance blood donations and their impact.
“We just hope Adelyn’s story inspires people to give blood,” Matt said. “We have received an outpouring of love from the Ahwatukee community and appreciate all of the many businesses that hang her flyer up and share information regarding the blood drive. Our goal is to get all of our spots filled and we have 90 of them total.
“United Blood Services responded based on our last blood drive performance by giving us almost double the number of spots. Like last time, we will provide food and beverages for all the donors and Adelyn will be there for donors to meet a strong little girl that relies on those donations to live.”
Matt said he also has been heartened by the “positive response from businesses willing to put up the blood drive flyer and now we have several contributing various gift cards for donors.”
“They have either provided free meals, sides, drinks or discounts that we will be giving to the donors after their appointments,” he said.
Businesses that have rallied to Addy’s cause are Early Baker, Fresko, Zzeeks, Smallcakes, Chick-fil-A, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin’ Donuts, Chipotle, Mod Pizza, Firehouse Subs, Habit Burger, Snooze, Modern Market, Uncle Bears Brewery, Rubio’s, Jamba Juice, Andy’s Custard and Dairy Queen.