Gift of life

Battling a blood deficiency, Luke Zeringue needs your help before undergoing cardiac surgery

Lea Trusty
August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

On Aug. 6, 22-year-old Luke Zeringue of Destrehan will have his third cardiac surgery. Unlike others who’ve undergone this surgery, blood must be ready for Luke before and after the operation because of his two medical deficiencies - Factor I and Factor II. His family needs your help and your blood donations.

Factor I deficiency is present when fibrinogen - an essential protein - is either absent from blood, or present, but defective. Fibrinogen is the element that’s needed for blood clotting in response to injuries. Therefore, if missing or defective, people with the Factor I may not only experience abnormal clotting, but major blood loss, as well.

Factor II deficiency, rare but not unheard of, is where prothrombin, precursor of thrombin, is present but abnormally structured. Thrombin is needed to change fibrinogen to fibrin for the use of blood clotting, so if defective, it can result in nosebleeds, bruising, bleeding from trauma and bleeding after surgery.

Luke was born with Factor I and II, and was 2 years old when he first received cardiac surgery. He was 15 for the second one.

Now, for his third operation, he is expecting a new pulmonary valve. With both of his bleeding disorders, Luke will need as much blood as possible before and after he undergoes his cardiac surgery. And the Zeringue family is asking for your help.

“They’re taking any blood type,” says Aline Zeringue, Luke’s mother. “The doctors can work with any amount, but we need donors. We need blood. Donating blood is truly the gift of life.”

If you’ve received a body piercing less than a year ago, you cannot donate. But most people who are at least 17 years of age, 110 pounds and in good health are able to donate blood.

Persons with controlled diabetes and high blood pressure, which is below 180/100, are now able to donate, too. Before donating, it’s recommended to eat and drink plenty fluids.

To help Luke, donations must be made at The Blood Center, and will be taken before and after the operation. You must have a picture ID present and state, “Replacement donation for Luke Zeringue,” to ensure the blood goes to Luke.

Those who are unable to give blood may make a financial contribution at The Blood Center Foundation, located at 315 S. Johnson St. in New Orleans, LA 70112. If you have any medical questions, you can call The Blood Center’s Metairie Donor Center at 504-887-2833 or the Westbank Donor Center at 504-263-1190

View other articles written Lea Trusty

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