Meet Khalil

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Khalil L.

Charlotte, North Carolina

During the first year of Khalil’s life, his hospital stays were so frequent that this mom, Brittney, would keep a packed bag by the door.

Before he was even born, a test determined Khalil would have sickle cell disease. Another test after birth confirmed the genetic blood disorder.

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Just 24 hours after he was born, Khalil suffered a perinatal stroke. He spent a week in the NICU, but the effects of the stroke were minimal. At 6 months old, a bad cold wiped out his blood count and sent him back to the hospital. The infant was confined to a bed for nearly four hours as he received his first blood transfusion.

Heading into third grade, hospital stays are less common for Khalil, but blood transfusions are still a vital part of his life.

Last winter, a salmonella infection from a turtle required a transfusion to get him back on his feet. This spring, he received a transfusion to reduce the risk of complications before being sedated for his annual MRI.

“He has received about 10 transfusions since birth. For routine things, illness, and sickle cell pain crises.”
-Brittney, Khalil's mother

Those blood transfusions help ensure Khalil has the energy to play flag football and Fortnite, finish his math homework, and be the best big brother to his siblings. And he does it all with a smile on his face.

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