Tulsa Family Using Personal Heartache To Bring Peace To Others
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa family is hoping their story will help give children with rare conditions, like heart defects or cancer, a second chance at life. It's as simple as giving blood.
Emma Routh has the face of an angel. A smile that could brighten any day and enough love to last a lifetime.
"She was a normal three month old child," Emma's mom Sonia Lopez said. "My older daughter was just in love with her sister. She really loved her."
Emma was born four years ago with a heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. It's a condition so rare that at six days old, Emma had heart surgery that included multiple blood transfusions.
"She recovered really well from surgery," Sonia said.
Emma had the will to live, but her little heart just didn't have strength. She passed away suddenly, three months after she was born.
"It was very unexpected," Sonia said. "She was supposed to have two more heart surgeries and live many years like many of the children with the same diagnosis,"
Now Emma's parents are making it their mission to help other children fighting the same battle. A Blood drive will be held in memory of baby Emma Monday.
"It's allowing these kids to go through surgery and give them a chance at a normal life, a long life," Emma's dad Brian Routh said.
Friday, Emma's family was set to meet this Ryker Mullinax, but his family was worried about getting caught in a storm on the trip to Tulsa.
Ryker was born with a heart defect - very similar to Emma's. At four months old - Ryker has been through four heart surgeries, two strokes and he's used well over 100 units of blood.
But it's not over yet. There are more surgeries to come, which means he'll need more blood transfusions to stay alive -- a fight that's rough right now, but will hopefully pay off in the end.
"It's all worth it, however it turns out, it's worth it, everything," Brian said.
The Oklahoma Blood Institute will hold a blood drive Monday in memory of Emma. It's from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Bounce-U at 91st and Memorial. Blood donations will help Oklahoma patients like Ryker.
Oklahoma Blood Institute is the ninth largest, non-profit blood center in America. For more information about this drive call or text Sonia Lopez at 918-282-6547. To make an appointment, contact Oklahoma Blood Institute at 877-340-8777 or visit us at obi.org.