LAS VEGAS (FOX5) - A valley mother has plans to host a blood drive in hopes of supplying her daughter and other families suffering with a lack of blood donations.
Four-year-old Layla O'Bryant suffers from Cerebellar Ataxia. Basically, the antibodies in her bloodstream have been attacking her brain stem. Blood transfusions have helped her in the past, but blood donations have been lacking.
Two years ago, Molly O'Bryant noticed something wrong with her daughter at brunch. Layla was shaking and having trouble eating.
"By that evening, she couldn't eat any soup, it wouldn't stay on the spoon. Her hand was shaking so bad when she was trying to eat," said O’Bryant.
Shortly after, Layla began having trouble walking. She would fall and hit her head. Eventually, crawling became a challenge.
"We were able to see the neurologist and in his office he told me, 'Call your insurance company, you're going to the hospital,'" said O’Bryant.
Layla was diagnosed with Cerebellar Ataxia.
"There is no test for this, there is no treatment or cure for Cerebellar Ataxia," O’Bryant said.
Then a pediatric neurologist at the Mayo Clinic told O'Bryant to try Intravenous Immunoglobulin otherwise known as IVIG. It worked. Just like that, Layla was right back on her feet.
"Oh my God, it gives me goosebumps every time I say it because I just think about her falling down and how many cuts on the head she's had," said O’Bryant.
Since, O'Bryant has been facing another challenge. Blood donations are lacking.
"I think the hardest part is, when you rely on medicine to help fix your baby and they can't, and that failed you, it a helpless feeling," said O’Bryant.
The American Red Cross is partnering with O'Bryant to set up a blood drive. She hopes donors will attend, give blood and give Layla and other families a stockpile to fall back on.
"By bringing awareness to the impact that donating blood can bring to families, that not just need blood, but need IVIG. This is why we’re doing this blood drive," O’Bryant said.