When Kevin and Rhonda decided to start a family, they were told their baby would have 1 in 4 chance of being born with sickle cell disease because they are both carriers of the sickle cell trait. Naomi was born with the disease. Since her red blood cells have changed shape, they get stuck and block blood flow. This prevents oxygen from reaching cells throughout the body, resulting in severe pain, stroke or even death. However, thanks to the Sickle Cell Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Naomi has a much better quality of life.
While the only known cure for sickle cell disease is a bone marrow transplant, and not everyone qualifies, Alan Flake, MD, is working to develop a procedure to stop the effects of sickle cell disease before birth.
Watch Naomi’s story, featured on Seeking Solutions with Suzanne.