July 07, 2014
Brady Getty has received more than 67 blood transfusions – and he’s not even 2 years old.
Brady suffers from severe Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA), a rare condition in which the immune system attacks and destroys red blood cells leading to insufficient plasma concentration. If left untreated, AIHA can lead to heart failure, liver complications, and death.
“At peak, Brady was being transfused every 24 hours,” said Shari Getty, Brady’s mom.
Thanks to Unyts, the best possible blood match was always available for Brady when needed.
Unyts is Western New York’s only organ, eye, tissue and community blood center, and the primary supplier of blood to Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. All blood donated to Unyts stays in WNY for local patients at local hospitals, helping to save many lives, including those of the youngest patients.
Though medication was able to suppress his immune system and stop the red cell destruction, Brady still visits Women & Children’s Hospital every month for Intravenous Gamma Globulin (IVGG) Therapy, an antiviral treatment and immunomodulator used to regulate his immune functioning and keep him healthy.
“One blood donation can be used for up to three transfusions,” said Shari. “That’s three more times that my son’s life was given back to him. You never know how many people you pass in the hall or on the street that wouldn’t be alive today without your donation.”
Show your support for Brady and all other patients in need of blood throughout Western New York by making an appointment to donate during the Unyts’ blood drive at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo on Tuesday, July 15 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. in Alford Auditorium. Click the link above or call Martha Hickey at 878-7221.
Headquartered in downtown Buffalo and established in 1981.
Unyts is among the leading procurement organizations in the United States, and is one of the only eight centers nationwide to house organ, tissue and eye procurement in one location. With the addition of Community Blood Service, Unyts has become the first organization of its kind nationwide. Unyts operates as a non-profit serving the eight counties of Western New York and works to assist donor families, coordinate the donation process and increase knowledge and awareness within the community regarding transplantation.
Unyts routinely has helped to secure higher rates of donation in Western New York than the national average. When approached following the death of a loved-one for organ donation, Western New York families are very generous. In 2014 the Unyts conversion rate was 81.5%– the national average was 63.2%. Due to these numbers, Unyts is ranked as one of the top procurement organizations nationwide. As recently as 1997, Unyts had just 200 donors; in 2014 the organization surpassed 1,200.
The organization’s network and success have gone hand-in-hand, and as a result, Unyts has been able to spread the message that transplantation is vital – and transplantation saves lives. Unyts is currently headed by President & CEO Mark Simon, and Chair of the Board of Directors David Carlson.
*As of January 1, 2012, Unyts operates under, d/b/a Unyts, WNY’s only Organ, Eye, Tissue and Community Blood Center. We are no longer Upstate NY Transplant Services.
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