Flax family partners with Red Cross to honor their son
Central Plains Blood Services Region
Jessica and Daniel Flax have lived through a parents’ nightmare. Now, they are choosing to share their experience to try to help others. On a calm day in September 2013, Jessica’s CPR training saved the life of her then 11-month-old son, Parker, when his heart suddenly stopped. On that fateful day, Jessica and Daniel didn’t realize that this medical emergency would finally lead to a long-sought diagnosis of Parker’s symptoms.
Parker began suffering from unexplained high fevers when he was just three months old. Numerous trips to the doctor, even hospital stays, yielded no definitive diagnosis.
But in her mother’s heart, Jessica knew something wasn’t right.
“At the hospital, after his heart stopped, doctors discovered Parker’s right coronary artery was completely blocked, causing a heart attack,” said Jessica. “The blockage and heart attack finally led to a diagnosis of Kawasaki disease.”
Along with helping Parker recover, his parents want to raise community awareness and help others. One way the Flax family is helping is by partnering with the American Red Cross for a Dodge City community blood drive in Parker’s honor March 26-27.
“When the nurse called me from the hospital the day Parker’s heart stopped, all I could think of was, ‘Just hang on. Just hang on until I get there,’” said Daniel. “Now that he is better, we want to help the Red Cross and our community’s blood supply. It’s also very important to us to share our story, so we can draw attention to this difficult-to-diagnose disease.”
Give blood in honor of Parker Flax:
March 26 from noon-6 p.m. and March 27 from 7:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Dodge City Senior Center, 2408 Central Ave., Dodge City, Kan.
Today, Parker is 16 months old and continues a miraculous recovery. He is nicknamed “Lunchbox” by his family for his love of food. He also enjoys building with blocks, but he loves knocking the blocks down the best.
Blood collected at the blood drive in honor of Parker Flax may be used for heart surgery patients, organ transplant recipients, premature babies, women with complications during childbirth and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease.
How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossBloodCP.