Modern Day Vampires: Aplastic Anemia

We normally picture fictional vampire creatures as nothing but villains who suck on human blood to sustain their life or half-life because they’re neither living nor dead. But did you know there are real human beings who can be comparable to vampires? They are our modern day vampires. But they don’t suck blood. Neither do they need to kill to do so. But they are in constant need of blood in order to survive.

What am I talking about? People with blood related sicknesses such as aplastic anemia. It’s no coincidence that one of the three female church members who visited our home recently and the child character in the film One More Try are sick of the exact same disease. But in the movie, the boy is suffering from a worse case; severe aplastic anemia which requires bone marrow transplant for complete recovery. The young woman church mate on the other hand no longer relies on monthly blood transfusion and now simply depends on God for her life and health.

As mentioned, this type of illness needs blood transfusion in order to aid the bone marrow in creating new blood cells. The bone marrow by the way is a sponge-like tissue situated inside the bones. This tissue is responsible for creating stem cells which develop into blood cells including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. So if the bone marrow is defective, the number of blood cells gets depleted and specific bodily functions are affected. For one, red blood cells distribute oxygen throughout the body. They also aid carbon dioxide to be exhaled through the lungs. White blood cells on the other hand help battle infections. Lastly, platelets act as sealant covering blood vessels’ cuts and also helps stop bleeding.

It’s quite normal for blood cells to die; in fact, red blood cells die in 120 days, white blood cells within a day, and platelets in 6 days. Thus, bone marrow must constantly create new blood cells to sustain bodily functions. If the number of blood cells gets depleted, health problems arise including irregular heartbeats, enlarged heart to as worst as heart failure, infections, and bleeding. For severe aplastic anemia, it can even be death.

It’s also common for them to get easily tired as seen in the movie and as attested by the young woman I’ve mentioned earlier. Moreover, her menstrual cycle is also irregular and when it comes, it flows almost unceasingly. The whole ordeal was the reason why she wasn’t able to graduate in college yet but she plans to go back to school again soon.

The term ‘modern day vampires’ may appear to be insulting in a sense but then again, these types of present day vampire-like people are no cause for fear. In fact, they are more fearful for their life. What they need, as with everyone else who is sick is love, care, attention, understanding, support, and above all prayers. 
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