'Blood saved my baby's life'

BEND, Ore. - Milo is 15 months old and all boy - Amy Anderson's miracle boy.

Just 20 weeks into her pregnancy during a routine check-up, Anderson received the worst possible news.

"They found a protein in my blood that was crossing through the placenta," she said, "and destroying Milo's blood."

Doctors in Eugene confirmed milo peterson had severe fatal anemia.

Dr. Keith Balderston, a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine based in Eugene, recommended a delicate procedure called an "intrauterine transfusion."

"Blood saved my baby's life," Anderson said. "He would have died; he was just days away from dying."

The goal: to deliver blood directly to Milo in the womb. The procedure: insert a needle through mom into a vein in the umbilical cord to reach the unborn baby.

More than the procedure, the blood had to be just right.

Rick Lester of Eugene had a perfect match: O negative and CMV negative.

Lester's blood could be donated to a baby - even an unborn baby like Milo.

It took four transfusions: 69ccs of hope.

"We did the last one at 31 weeks, and Milo was born at 35 weeks healthy and happy," Anderson said. "He's now 15 months and a regular little guy."

"When you see the actuality of what happens or what can happen, I mean - that's pretty amazing," Lester said. "Now there's a new person in the world who might not have been here."

In April, Anderson held a Red Cross blood drive at her private school in Bend to encourage others to give that gift of life.

"Anything for Milo - it feels good," said donor Brian Endter, "especially when you see that little guy running around in the parking lot."

For Milo, 2 ounces of blood - just 2 ounces - made the difference.

For Lester, the father of 2 young boys himself, the answer on whether or not to donate blood is clear.

"There aren't that many things you can do where you know that this is going to benefit somebody," he said.