Monday, April 6, 2009

A Note On Our Blood+Platelet Donors

In the ER on Wednesday: Pablo and his frequent companion: a bag of platelets.

When I arrived at CHLA this evening, Jo Ann filled me in on the finer details of the day—the in-between stuff that we didn't talk about on our usual million-times-a-day phone calls. All the usual stuff was covered: what did the doctors say, what did Pablo say, how many times did they walk around the hospital, etc. Then there was an unexpected—and somewhat shocking—topic: the only platelets available in CHLA today were directed donor units for Pablo. I say somewhat because what's great about this fact is its show if strength within our community.

All of you who have come to CHLA, taken half a day out of your lives, and braved the needle have ensured that Pablo does not receive platelets from a stranger. The shocking part is that there aren't more people doing it. Keep it coming. And if you are on the fence about making the appointment and gettin stuck, please jump off and do it. The kids need it.

Check out how bad: this afternoon when Jo Ann became aware of the platelet shortage, she was also told that a friend of ours down the hall needed platelets. So she released a bag of Brian Kastner's goods (he donates twice a month at least) for our friend Jayden. A rare opportunity that comes up in life—to pass along something
that truly matters to another human being who truly needs something. That's Jo Ann right there. She gets it done. A mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, she does not mess around.

Passing along a bag of platelets to a human in need is bit more significant than, say, than getting pissed at the driver that honked at me on the bike when I was trudging up PCH yesterday. Or the airplane upgrade I didn't get in 1997. Or the time in 2002 when I had to be right in some dumb biz situation‚the details of which I can't recall anymore. Kind of puts a lot of s**t in perspective.

Pablo is doing great. He looks better, and is totally himself. When I was at the hospital this evening, we talked and snuggled and joked. When he's pushing his jokes and his sentences on me, I know we're in a good place. Fevers are still coming and going. White blood cells still in the pits. Platelets are still coming up. And the bacteria is still not growing in the day one blood sample. And it hasn't shown up in his blood or urine since day Wednesday. All in all, a great report card.

Tomorrow, Dangerbird Management band Steel Train will be playing at CHLA. They're from NYC and in town making their new record with producer Steve McDonald. They do some tunes in the lobby and then play in select rooms, for kids who can't come to the lobby. Evan Winiker, the bassist from the Steel Train, was over at the office today and reminded me about this. Tomorrow morning, I'm gonna run over to the spot, grab P, and go down to the lobby for the show. Very exciting. We'll take pictures and post.

OK, night night.


Jules said...

I will be in the LA area this week and again in 2 weeks. This week is a bit crazy, but I would love to schedule a longer trip around the 22nd/23rd so that I can donate platelets to Pablo. Keep the updates coming so I'll know if there still needed at that time. What a cool way to be able to lend a hand!

Anonymous said...

I just have to say I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED RED KROSS. Saw them many, many times in the 80s!!!!

I'm so happy that Pablo is feeling much better and getting back to his normal self. JoAnn rocks and is such an inspiration to me as a mother (though I don't even know her). Her love, grace and compassion is very apparent just reading this blog. You guys keep going as a wonderful family that inspires and teaches all of us what really matters in this crazy mixed up world!

clare crespo said...

how do i donate platelets? do i just call CHLA?
xo clare