8-year-old Kermit boy diagnosed with rare blood disease

(Source: Guardians of the Children)
(Source: Guardians of the Children)

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - A local organization called Guardians of the Children needs your help in finding someone with a specific blood type, RH negative. It's all in an effort to help out an 8-year-old Kermit boy with a rare blood disease.

It was a normal day for Alex, 8, until he woke up with bruises all over his body and bleeding from his mouth, nose, ears, even his eyes. He was rushed to the hospital and was transported to Lubbock after doctors found he had a low platelet count. Platelets are tiny blood cells that help the body form clots to stop bleeding. A normal platelet count is between 150,000 to 300,000. For Alex, his count was only 4,000, leading doctors to diagnose him with a rare blood disorder called ITP, which stands for Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura.

"When there's no platelets, your blood is so thin, it'll seep out," said Shylla Turner, a family friend and a member of Guardians of the Children. "It was so scary, they're like family to me. We didn't know what was going on and we didn't know a way to help."

Guardians of the Children is coming together to find someone who carries the same blood type as Alex.

"He knows he has to do this so he's got a very positive and mature outlook on it," said Turner. "Now, that he's home from the hospital, he's much more positive about it."

Right now, Alex is in between appointments driving from Kermit to Lubbock every two weeks for IV-IG treatments. The treatments are helping him increase his platelet count. Although he's unable to do activities as any 8-year-old boy would, he knows there's a backbone of supporters who stand behind him.

"He's like family to us so anything we can do to help any kid, we want to try to do," said Turner.

Guardians of the Children are hosting a bone marrow registry this Saturday at the Ector County Coliseum building D. Anyone 18 to 44-years-old can do the swab. It starts at 9 a.m. Alex doesn't need a bone marrow transplant but if it were to come down to it, his family knows there's a bank already built of platelet donors. Alex is not in need of blood donations, only platelet donations. If you'd like to donate blood, the organization is holding a blood drive this summer.

Copyright 2018 KWES. All rights reserved.