A little over a year ago, Beckett, now 5, was adopted from China by her parents, Morgan and Marcus, and she has been visiting the ASK Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) every three weeks since then. Beckett was born with beta thalassemia major, a rare inherited blood disorder which causes anemia and low levels of oxygen in many parts of the body due to a lack of hemoglobin in the body’s red blood cells. When she was adopted, Beckett was malnourished, weak, and could barely walk even though she was four years old.
To treat her condition, Beckett comes to CHoR for blood transfusions that help maintain her hemoglobin level. The transfusions take three to four hours and will lengthen as Beckett grows and requires larger amounts of blood. After beginning the regularly scheduled transfusions, she has gotten stronger and is catching up to normal developmental milestones thanks to physical and occupational therapy.
“Beckett has a serious disease that is lifelong, and she used to be scared of doctors,” Morgan says, “but now the hospital is one of her favorite places to be. She loves going for her transfusions.”
Beckett enjoys dancing with nurses in the clinic, watching Disney movies, and showing off her outfits. While she might one day receive a bone marrow transplant to stop the need for blood transfusions, for now her family is content to continue managing her condition and letting her be an otherwise normal child.
“It’s amazing how well she’s doing after everything she has been through,” Morgan adds. “She is a little walking miracle.”