Healthy Living: Local News
Mother remembers child's close call as Red Cross Donor Days begin
Local mom says donations saved her daughter
Story Updated: Jul 10, 2012
MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. — You would never guess by looking at 3-year-old Emma Grace that she spent the first months of her life fighting to stay alive.
As she runs through the playground at Noble Park, her mom Ashley Ray watches her play. Ray said she loves to watch her and and hear her squeal, because at one point she didn't think she ever would. Emma was born 10 weeks early.
"At 3 days old, they came in and told me that I needed to pick out a casket because there was no way I'd get to take her," she said.
But Ray didn't give up hope and doctors never stopped working. Emma kept pulling through and then doctors told Ray they needed to give her a blood transfusion.
"They said they would have to give blood to her because she wasn't producing enough on her own," said Ray.
She added she wasn't allowed to donate so close to giving birth, so she was at the mercy of strangers.
"You just wonder, what if there wasn't somebody? What if somebody hadn't gone and donated the blood she needed? What if there wasn't enough for her? What would have happened then?"
Luckily, there was enough blood and Emma responded to the transfusion. She slowly began getting better and was able to go home after three months in the hospital.
"When she went home, the doctor looked me straight in the face and said, 'Ashley, I have no medical reason why that baby's alive.'"
But Ray knows why. She said it's because of prayer and the blood donations of strangers. That's why she donates her blood as often as she's allowed.
"Somebody saved my kid's life, so I'll save as many as I can until they won't let me anymore," she said.
Red Cross Donor Days are July 11 and 12 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Red Cross volunteers are set up at the Cherry Civic Center in Paducah to take donations.