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25 extra days for mom and child

Updated: 04/28/2014 9:34 PM
Created: 04/28/2014 6:41 PM WNYT.com
By: Benita Zahn

A condition that occurs when large amounts of fluid buildup in a baby's tissues and organs causing extreme swelling, Michele Graham's body started mirroring the symptoms of Cash's Hydrops and doctors thought she might be developing Preeclampsia.

"Saved my life, saved my son's life for 25 days. Wasn't supposed to make it past delivery," says Graham

Michele Graham is talking about the blood transfusions that were so critical after doctors found that her soon to be born baby, named Cash, was suffering a rare and often deadly condition called Hydrops. The symptoms - abnormal amounts of fluid buildup in two or more body areas of a fetus or newborn.

The normal pregnancy went array at 30 weeks when Michele developed a kidney infection, then kidney stones;, her eyesight began failing and then she rapidly gained weight, 25 pounds in a week, 16 pounds the next week.

"It was literally from my belly button to my toes."

Doctors scrambled to figure out what was wrong. Another fetal ultrasound found the problem.

"This is so rare, this reversal syndrome. The baby had it and then I began mirroring the problem and started gaining the fluid."

She needed an emergency C-section and because of the condition, bled out. Thankfully there was an adequate supply of blood for transfusion to save her life.

"And Cash also needed a transfusion immediately upon birth and then from every day forward all of his days he needed a blood product."

"He was born on a Friday and on Sunday they said they didn't think he'd make the day. It was a roller coaster as it is in the NICU but for the 25 days that we had we got to know his little personality."

That's 25 days they would not have had, had it not been for donated blood.

"The only word, the only word is 'priceless.'"

You can give the gift of life this Wednesday from 12-7 at five locations.

Click here for more details on the NewsChannel 13 and American Red Cross "Save a Life Blood Drive."

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