Meet Christian and Jeremiah.
Bumps and scrapes are a normal part of childhood. For most kids, a tumble off a bike or a tough kick in a soccer game mean only a temporary bruise or a cut that heals quickly. However, for Christian Perez, these everyday mishaps can have serious consequences. Christian has hemophilia, a genetic disease that prevents his blood from clotting. As a result, simple injuries can result in significant blood loss or dangerous internal bleeding.For an active eleven-year-old who loves sports, having hemophilia means he often misses out on playing soccer with his friends.
Fortunately for him, he is able to receive Factor VIII transfusions, they replace the missing protein in his blood and make day to day activities safer. Since 2005, Coastal Kids Home Care nurse Kim has been checking in on him monthly - first to flush his port to ensure safe transfusions and later to work with his mom and him on learning how to do external transfusions so that his port could be removed.
Today, Christian is nearly independent of Coastal Kids. He gives himself transfusions 3-4 times each week. With the help of Kim, Christian is also teaching his brother, Jeremiah to manage his hemophilia too. Soon both Perez boys will be playing fewer video games and more soccer - without the fear of those minor bumps and bruises. According to Kim, “Empowering kids like Christian and Jeremiah to take responsibility for their own care makes a huge difference in their confidence and their ability to just be kids.”