Parents of sick baby ask others to donate blood

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Parents of sick baby ask others to donate blood . Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on September 14, 2018.

An infant's daily struggle to stay alive has inspired his parents to help make sure other children don't have to face the same challenges.

They're asking everyone to do something pretty simple and in the end, it may save a life: donate blood.

Maverick Simmons was born Labor Day, September 3.

He is one of a set of triplets, and the only one who has survived their premature births. He is still in a battle for his life.

He needs a constant transfusion of his rare blood type, AB negative. He needs the platelets from AB negative to survive, which means constant transfusions.

His parents are undergoing a heart-wrenching ordeal.

Jason Painter, Maverick's father, said, "Day by day we've learned with a premature child at his age, there's a lot of obstacles every day."

Mother Shane Simmons said, "We just learned how important it is for everyone to give blood. You don't know how important it is until you need it. "

Christiana Hospital, where Maverick remains, in intensive care has a full supply of AB negative.

But his parents, both firefighters, have launched a hero's blood drive to get steady donations of AB negative to the Blood Bank of Delmarva. Platelets have only a five-day shelf life.

Tony Prado of the Blood Bank of Delmarva said, "This young man needs platelets and as a coping mechanism, they want to do something positive. They want to emphasize the constant need for platelets."

"AB negative is needed in this particular circumstance, because type-specific blood products are used for neonatal transfusion, so it's important because only less than 1% of the population is ab-negative," added Kristen Frederick of Blood Bank of Delmarva.

As these parents maintain a round the clock vigil at their son's bedside, they are determined to get the word out as far as possible about the value of regular blood donations, of all types.

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