Kelsea B.

Condition: Low Platelet and White Cell Counts
City, State: Bend, OR
Club: St. Francis School Sparrow Club Service Hours: 431
Date Adopted: 2/21/2013

Kelsea's Story:
Kelsea is a beautiful happy 6-year old who enjoys singing and dancing, riding horses, playing soccer and going skiing. She especially enjoys spending time with her siblings, big sister Makenna and little brother Brody.

It was May of 2012 that Kelsea’s life began to get complicated. She was visiting her grandma in Vancouver when all of a sudden her mucus membranes in her face began to swell up. At first, her parents, Kurt and Jennifer, didn’t think too much of it and thought maybe it was a simple illness that could be quickly corrected. By the time Kelsea returned back home, her mouth was swollen and purple and her gums had swelled over her teeth. She started to bruise all over her body. That night, blood started dripping out of her mouth.

Kelsea was immediately taken to a local physician who began to run blood tests. Her platelet level was at 2. Normal platelet count is at least 150,000 or higher. Since platelets are the part of the blood that cause it to clot, and Kelsea’s was so low, she was bleeding from the inside out.

The family was immediately sent to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland for more tests. She was given an IVIG treatment to attempt to bring up her platelet numbers and it failed. A few days later she was given another treatment. This time the treatment worked. After staying a few days for observation, Kelsea was released to come home. As far as the doctors were concerned, they had no idea what happened but said she should be fine. They did instruct Kelsea to stay away from any activities where she might fall and hurt herself. This meant no bike riding and no playing. Difficult requests for an active little girl.

As the weeks went by, Kelsea’s blood counts were up and down. Eventually, they bottomed out again and the family once again had to return to Portland. Doctors decided on a new treatment - high doses of steroids to help combat the problem. The family was able to return home and began treatments immediately.

The steroid treatments did not work. Kelsea’s blood counts would go up one day and crash the next. After several weeks of this, Kurt and Jennifer decided to stop the steroids and waited to see what would happen.

So far, Kelsea seems to be doing fine. Each follow up visit shows her blood counts a little closer to normal. Doctors still don’t know what Kelsea has or when/if it will return. Her parents remain hopeful.

Thank you to the family of J Morris for providing the Club Sponsorship that students at St Francis School will earn by completing a minimum of 256 hours of community service. Sparrow Cash raised for Kelsea will help pay for ongoing medical expenses and trips to Portland.


J Morris
J Morris