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Friends, family donate blood to help Greenwood boy live

Sarah Kleiner of the Midland Reporter Telegram reports on a high school boy’s battle with HUS:
After a stop at a fast food restaurant in early August, Parsley, a freshman at Greenwood High School, became sick to his stomach and was taken to the hospital in Midland.
Sandra Parsley, Stefan’s mother, said he was then flown to a hospital in Lubbock where he was diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, commonly caused by Escherichia coli, or E. coli. After 10 hours in Lubbock, Stefan was then flown to the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.


“I was terrified. When he was hurting, I was hurting,” Sandra Parsley said. “I just wanted to take it away.”
Stefan underwent blood dialysis, in which the blood is filtered, and because his blood cells were being destroyed, he had six blood transfusions.
Greenwood High School National Honor Society hosted a blood drive Wednesday to benefit Stefan.
Annette Stacy, Greenwood High School nurse, said though Stefan won’t receive any of the blood collected in his name, he will be credited on his hospital bill. For every four units collected here, he’ll get one credit for a blood unit.
“Usually whenever somebody goes to the hospital and they have to have a unit of blood, there’s a considerable expense,” Stacy said, adding that the donated blood will benefit Midlanders because of a current blood shortage.
Kelli Baumann, a friend of the Parsley family and substitute nurse at Greenwood High School, said 81 units of blood were collected by the end of the drive.
Another blood drive will be held Sept. 11 at the Grace Presbyterian Church, which the Parsleys attend, Baumann said.
Stefan has been in the Dallas hospital since he arrived there Aug. 14, and Sandra, who has been with her son since he arrived at the hospital, said they hope to be home next week.
Sandra said the family believes he might have become ill from food at a fast food restaurant, but the cause is still unclear. The Texas Department of Health contacted her, and agents are conducting an investigation, including taking blood samples from her children.
Stefan’s sister also became ill, but was able to fight it off, Sandra said.
Sandra said her husband and children travel to Dallas each weekend to spend time with Stefan, and other relatives and friends have visited.
Kelly Dunson, a freshman at Greenwood High School and friend of Stefan’s since first grade, said he visited Stefan this past weekend. Dunson said Stefan is as a fan of video games, a basketball player and a member of student council.
Baumann said Stefan is involved in the band and Drug Free Youth In Texas or D-FY-IT.
Stefan has enrolled in a Dallas school while he is in the hospital and studies about an hour each day, Sandra said, until he can return to Greenwood High School.
After Stefan is released from the hospital, he will have to travel back to Dallas the next week for a checkup, Sandra said, and doctors will closely monitor him for about two years.
“There are some long term things that could happen,” Sandra said.
Stefan’s red blood cells are not reproducing like they should be, Sandra said, and he is taking medicine for high blood pressure.

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