Graduation from a Preemie to a Healthy Little Boy...

Oct 23, 2019 | Kimberly Schmidt | @kimberlyd

Grandma & Hayden

At 28 weeks gestation, Hannah went into spontaneous labor and found she had already dilated to 5 cm. Hayden James came into this world on January 6, 2019, weighing two pounds four ounces and scoring normally on the after-birth assessment. Still, as a high-risk delivery, he needed a lot of extra loving care.

Hayden was intubated to assist with breathing and IVs were inserted to provide him with medications and nutrition. When his care team checked his hemoglobin, it registered at a very low level due to his premature condition. They gave him his first dose of lifesaving blood product (20 cc). Surprisingly, his levels were immediately raised. The transfusion perked him up immediately. A recheck a few days later found him with low hemoglobin again, requiring him to receive 30 cc this time around, and, again, he rebounded.

Having been a nurse for the past 33 years, Lynnelle, Hayden’s grandmother, had seen many instances where blood products were transfused to patients, making the difference between life and death, but never in her wildest dreams would she have thought that neonates would need blood too.

“I always thought blood was used to help chemo patients and those injured in a trauma situation. When I was told that Hayden had received only 30 cc (which was equivalent to a little med cup), I was truly amazed at how such a small amount turned his situation around,” Lynnelle shared. Since then, Hayden has been doing great and has grown significantly.

Hayden’s Aunt Lisa sewed a cap and gown for him from a t-shirt for when he finally “graduated” from the hospital. Hayden's Graduation

Lynnelle’s other son, Max, has always been a giving person and felt the need to help others. Ever since he was 16 years old, he made it a point to donate blood as often as possible. He has now donated just over a gallon and a half of blood and has also donated platelets. Now that his little nephew has received blood twice, he feels compelled to donate.

“It only takes approximately an hour and fifteen minutes of your time—no big deal. Just think of the number of preemies who could be saved by one blood donation,” Lynnelle shares.

Hayden’s family saw first-hand the importance that blood product plays in helping premature babies. In honor of World Prematurity Day, the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program will be hosting the Second Annual Pints for Preemies Blood Donation Challenge. To learn more about this lifesaving challenge, click here.

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email Or visit our webpage

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