Hospital Helps Patient Celebrate Unique Milestone

Laura Kelley, a pediatric hospitalist with the Children’s National Medical Center service at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, celebrates Ashlynn Bruce’s 100th blood transfusion with the 5-year-old. Submitted Photo

SALISBURY — Ever wonder why donating blood is so important? Ashlynn Bruce can tell you.

A Salisbury 5-year-old, Bruce celebrated a special day with her care team at Peninsula Regional Medical Center on Friday, Feb. 7 ─ her 100th blood transfusion. She has a condition, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, requiring frequent transfusions.

“She had her first one at Peninsula Regional right after she was born,” said her mother, Patricia Bruce.

Ever since then, she has been coming every three weeks to get the red blood cells she needs ─ and during that time, the Pediatrics staff at PRMC has become close to Ashlynn and her family.

“She calls them her friends, and she looks forward to coming,” Bruce said.

The feeling is mutual. “It has been a privilege of the Children’s National Medical Center pediatric hospitalists to take care of Ashlynn,” said Laura Kelley, a pediatric hospitalist who serves patients at PRMC through an agreement with Children’s.

That’s why the pediatrics staff threw her a party in honor of her 100th transfusion, complete with a cake, balloons and presents, including the American Girl doll of hers choice. She wore a shirt commemorating the occasion and thanking the many blood donors who have help provide her with the needed red blood cells that keep her healthy.