Medical Breakthroughs: Xiomara Ellis tells her story of living with sickle cell

Medical Breakthroughs

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- September is National Sickle Cell Awareness month.

With the disease affecting between 70,000 to 80,000 Americans, blood blanks are needing more donations to help save lives.

Xiomara Ellis has lived with sickle cell disease all her life. It’s a disease where a person’s red blood cells are C shaped.

“They will clot up against each other and that will block oxygen flow through the vein. Wherever that happens, it’s extremely painful,” she said.

Sickle cell patients rely on blood transfusions their entire lives.

Mitzi Breaux with Vitalant says their blood supply is currently down and because sickle cell disease primarily affects African Americans, they need more African-American donors.

“Every ethnicity has different antibodies in their blood so it’s easier and better for the sickle cell patient if their blood transfusion comes from another African-American,” Breaux said. “It’s just a better match for them and the treatment will be more impactful for them.”

Xiomara says she typically goes to the hospital once a month in pain needing a transfusion.

She says she is grateful for anyone who has donated blood.

“It means everything. Honestly I still wouldn’t be here without people being kind enough to go and donate,” Ellis said. “I can’t count the blood transfusions I’ve had in my life. So if you’ve donated you’ve probably helped save my life so I appreciate it.”

For more information on how to donate blood in Acadiana, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Clear

Abbeville

34°F Clear Feels like 34°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
84%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Cloudy skies. Low near 35F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
33°F Cloudy skies. Low near 35F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
6 mph NE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Clear

Crowley

35°F Clear Feels like 35°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
73%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Cloudy. Low around 35F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
33°F Cloudy. Low around 35F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
6 mph NE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Clear

Opelousas

33°F Clear Feels like 33°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
77%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy early followed by cloudy skies overnight. Low 32F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
33°F Partly cloudy early followed by cloudy skies overnight. Low 32F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
6 mph NE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Clear

Breaux Bridge

35°F Clear Feels like 29°
Wind
7 mph NE
Humidity
76%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Partly cloudy skies early will give way to cloudy skies late. Low 34F. Winds light and variable.
33°F Partly cloudy skies early will give way to cloudy skies late. Low 34F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
6 mph NE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent
Clear

New Iberia

37°F Clear Feels like 30°
Wind
9 mph NE
Humidity
73%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

A few clouds from time to time. Low 26F. Winds light and variable.
32°F A few clouds from time to time. Low 26F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
5 mph NE
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Crescent

Local News

More Local

Sidebar

Trending Stories