On the mend

Angus McPhail
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Blood transfusions helped toddler recover from leukemia

Tyler Hynes has gone through more in his short life than many people have by the time they turn 50.

Tyler and his mom, Beth Hynes, at their home in St. Philip’s.

The three-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia shortly after his second birthday. The family was living in Clarenville at the time.

“We had to get an ambulance into St. John’s that day,” said his mother, Beth. “When we got into town his counts were critically low. Hemoglobin, platelets were pretty much down to nothing, so right away they had to give him a platelet transfusion and then a blood transfusion and then another platelet transfusion after that.”

Since then, Tyler has been in the hospital multiple times with fevers and infections. Fortunately, he has not needed any blood transfusions lately.

“But it’s still possible that during his course of treatment he could need more platelet transfusions or more blood transfusions,” said his mother.

Beth says Tyler is in remission and is recovering well. He receives chemotherapy every 28 days at the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre, and Beth administers an oral dose of medication daily.

The Hynes family has moved to Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s to be closer to the Janeway because Tyler’s treatment will last 3 1/2 years, Beth said.

“The Janeway has been fantastic. They are like my second family,” she said. “I have no hesitation in calling them about anything if I have any questions or concerns. They’re always there to help me."

Beth says the doctors and nurses know them so well that it has helped the family a great deal. Tyler doesn’t even mind going to the hospital anymore, she said.

“He gets blood work done and doesn’t have a hitch with that,” Beth said. “He actually sat up in his chair for the first time by himself, with me, the last time we were there.”

The ordeal has been stressful for the family.

“Tyler has a sister who is six years old. (It has been) a big change for her, especially when we had to move and then she had to start school here in St. Philip’s,” Beth said. “It’s a very stressful, trying time. When you have a sick child, you’re always worried about everything.”

Blood donations have been key to Tyler’s recovery.

“The first thing they did with Tyler when we got into the Janeway, after they found out his diagnosis, was give him a platelet transfusion, a blood transfusion and another platelet transfusion,” Beth said. “If it wasn’t for those people donating blood, then he wouldn’t have been able to get well.”

Tyler may need transfusions in the future, so it’s important to his family that people donate blood.

Tyler’s father, Curtis, said he always intended to be a blood donor, but until his son became ill he didn’t realize how important it is to give blood whenever you can. Now he is a blood donor.

“This all happening really put it in the forefront and I really understood the importance of it,” Curtis said.

He is hoping to establish a blood donors’ clinic at his workplace.

“It is extremely important to give blood,” he said. “They need every drop they can get.”

The Telegram is encouraging readers to donate blood this week as part of its annual The Telegram Saves Lives blood drive campaign. The blood drive runs from Oct. 21-25. Read The Telegram this week for more stories on donating blood, and visit thetelegram.com for a special section with more stories and videos.

Clinic hours:

7 Wicklow St., St. John’s

Today from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.





Geographic location: Clarenville, Portugal Cove

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