By: Camille Branham, Mother of the Twins
My name is Camille Branham, and my blood type is A negative. Like all negative blood types, it lacks the Rh protein. When I was pregnant with twins, my doctor recommended I get RhoGAM injections. The shots of Rh immune globulin may be given to women whose blood is missing the Rh protein on the surface of their red blood cells.
In my case, I produced antibodies and in May 2017, I was admitted to the University of Utah after my 21-week ultrasound showed that my twins had fluid around their kidneys.
Upon admission, I found out the twins were facing three major problems. The first problem was Hydrops Fetalis. In addition to the fluid around their kidneys, fluid was starting to surround their brains.
The second problem was Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). My twins shared a placenta but had their own amniotic sacs, also known as monochorionic diamniotic twins, putting them at a higher risk for complications like TTTS. They had an imbalance of blood flow between them. They were given an intrauterine transfusion, a procedure in which red blood cells from a donor are injected into the fetuses.
The third problem was hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn. This blood disorder causes your baby's red blood cells to break down quickly due to our blood being incompatible.
Ethan and Owen were born prematurely on May 9, 2017, and passed away that same day. Ethan lived for 45 minutes, and Owen lived for 1 Hour and 30 minutes. My little boys were troopers through it all.
This opened my eyes to how difficult it is for many mothers with Rh-negative blood types. I am extremely grateful for the people who donated their blood to allow my sons a chance at life with an intrauterine transfusion. The day my sons received a transfusion was when I realized how important donating blood is and how donating blood can save so many lives in so many ways.
It doesn't take long to donate. So next time you donate please think of my sons, Ethan and Owen Branham, and all the babies like them that need your help.
Donate blood in Honor of Ethan and Owen
Wayne County Fitness Authority
180 Sunset Blvd.
Jesup, GA 31546
Thursday, December 28, 2023
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
To donate at the blood drive in honor of Ethan and Own, make an appointment by using the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and using the sponsor code: fitness
Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.