Blood drive for Nathaniel Sparks

Pictured is Nathaniel Sparks, a 5-month-old from Walker who was born with a severe congenital heart disease. A blood drive will be held for Sparks from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, at the Walmart Supercenter in Denham Springs, located at 904 S. Range Ave.

The Blood Center is holding a blood drive on Sunday, Feb. 3, to benefit an infant from Walker who was born with a severe congenital heart disease.

The blood drive will run from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Walmart Supercenter in Denham Springs, located at 904 S. Range Ave., just off the I-12 exit.

The blood drive is being held for Nathaniel Sparks, a 5-month-old who was born with Complete Atrioventricular Canal Defect (CAVC), a congenital heart disease where the heart doesn’t form properly during the first eight weeks of pregnancy, which causes holes to develop between the left and right sides of the heart. The condition is often associated with Down syndrome.

Children’s Hospital of New Orleans conducted Nathaniel’s first cardiac surgery, one of at least 300 pediatric heart surgeries performed there annually.

Blood needed for patients at Children’s is collected by The Blood Center, which has to collect 300-350 pints of blood every day to maintain a stable community blood supply, public relations manager Paul Adams said.

Donating blood is safe, simple and easy, Adams said, adding that each donation can help save up to three lives. Donors are encouraged to eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of fluids before and after donating. They must also bring a picture I.D.

Those wishing to donate to Nathaniel after Feb. 3 can do so by visiting the Denham Springs Donor Center, located at 1971 Florida Ave. SW, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

The Blood Center is a non-profit community service organization that serves more than 30 hospitals and outpatient facilities throughout southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi. For more information, please call (800) 86-BLOOD or visit www.thebloodcenter.org.

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