Krista Volden is cherishing this Mother’s Day. When her son, Elias, was born 19 months ago, his survival prognosis was bleak after suffering a fetal-maternal hemorrhage. While in the womb, Elias’ blood supply drained from his body and into his mother’s blood stream. When he was born, he only had 25 percent of his blood.
But Elias defied the odds.
“The doctors in Denver said they never heard of any babies surviving the condition he was in,” Krista said. “He’s definitely a little miracle guy.”
Elias was born under dire circumstances. Doctors worked on him for six hours but without enough blood to circulate to his organs, a flight team transported Elias to a Denver, Colo., hospital where he received two blood transfusions. Krista was separated from her newborn while she recovered from her C-section in a Liberal, Kan., hospital. Before his trip to Denver, Krista only had a few minutes with her son.
“That’s when it finally hit me that it might be the only time I see him,” she said.
Krista was able to make the trip to Denver a few days later, and said nurses told her “the second blood transfusion turned him into a different baby.”
Following the transfusions, Krista was told Elias would never walk, never talk, and would need therapy for the rest of his life. Now, at 19 months old, he is constantly on the move, running around the house and talking.
“He can pick out the grumpiest person in the room and make them laugh,” Krista said of her now healthy, 26-pound son. “He definitely has a purpose. Maybe that reason was to show us how important it is to give back and donate to others.”
Krista hopes her story emphasizes the need to donate blood. While her fiancé regularly donates blood, she recently gave for the first time in several years. It’s something she said they’ll continue to do together.
“Lying there, it gave me the chills knowing someone sat there and did this and that’s the only reason we have my son today,” she said. “It was just an awesome feeling to know I could be saving someone else’s baby or loved one.”