Donate blood in honor of heart surgery patient

September 20, 2013

Media contact: Cari Merrill, 316-558-2428, @RedCrossBloodCP            


Donate blood in honor of heart surgery patient

American Red Cross blood drive honors 1-year-old Delylah Harris


PITTSBURG, Kan. (Sept. 20, 2013) — Delylah Harris has seen more hospital rooms, experienced more medical procedures, and undergone more surgeries than any 1-year-old girl should.


When Delylah was born in September 2012, doctors noticed a large heart murmur and diagnosed her with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot with a missing pulmonary valve in her heart. The defect causes oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body.


For the first six months of Delylah’s life, she was on oxygen and resting at home, preparing for her first open heart surgery. While at home, her troubles worsened as she contracted two common viruses. The second open heart surgery came July 3, followed by a tracheostomy, a feeding tube, a blood clot, yeast in her blood and cellulitis.


After her surgeries, Delylah received several blood transfusions. Delylah’s family and friends are hosting an American Red Cross blood drive in her honor.


Blood Drive In Honor of Delylah Harris/Pittsburg Community Blood Drive:

Sept. 26 from 1 to 6:30 p.m. at Countryside Christian Church, 1901 E. 4th, Pittsburg

Sept. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Countryside Christian Church, 1901 E. 4th, Pittsburg


“Blood donation helps save lives. It can’t get much better than that,” said Delylah’s mother, Leslie Harris. “You already have the blood. It’s just a little bit of your blood and a little bit of time that can make a big difference for someone. Why not give if you can?”


Delylah could face a lifetime of open heart surgeries to replace the pulmonary valve as it wears out, so she will continue to need blood.


“She’s a strong little girl,” Leslie Harris said. “She has beaten the odds before and we’re going to keep that mentality. We can make it through this.”


The Harris family is hosting “Lylahpalooza,” a music benefit for Delylah, from noon to 11 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Crawford County Fairgrounds. For more information on that event, contact Jessi Reading at (620) 249-2369.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit 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 Kansas), 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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossBloodCP.