Adam Berry looks on with a smile as his children, Sawyer and Parker, open Christmas presents at Canadian Blood Services in Red Deer Friday morning. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Bad Video Embed Code

Adam Berry looks on with a smile as his children, Sawyer and Parker, open Christmas presents at Canadian Blood Services in Red Deer Friday morning. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

WATCH: Santa donates blood on behalf of Lacombe family

With a little help from Old Saint Nick, Parker Berry is giving back to the organization that helped saved her life.

Last June, the eight-year-old Lacombe girl wasn’t feeling well at her year-end dance recital at Red Deer College. Parker’s father Adam Berry said he thought his daughter just had the flu.

After a couple trips to the hospital in Lacombe, a doctor did a blood test. About an hour later, the doctor told Parker’s parents an ambulance will need to bring her to Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

Parker was diagnosed with thrombocytopenia (ITP). She received five blood transfusions while being admitted to Stollery Children’s Hospital.

“It was a whirlwind experience – we were there for 11 days,” said Adam Berry, Parker’s father.

“Before we got the ER she lost about 40 per cent of her blood. She was bleeding internally and you couldn’t tell. We just knew she was ill.”

With the exception of a brief setback about a month later, she has been healthy ever since, said Berry.

Berry said knowing strangers donated blood helped save his daughter’s life is amazing.

“It’s a simple gift,” he said. “It doesn’t take very long to donate and it can affect some little girl and her family somewhere else in Central Alberta.”

With donated blood saving Parker’s life, the family decided to give back Friday morning.

Red Deer County Coun. Philip Massier dressed as Santa Claus to donate blood on behalf of the family on Friday.

Massier said the gift of donating blood is important this time of year.

“I wish everyone could come and give a little blood before we all get too busy for this Christmas season,” said Massier.

Shaun Richer, Canadian Blood Services territory manager, said donations can get slow around the holidays because people get so busy.

“For us the entire month (December) is a bit of a challenge,” said Richer. “We’re trying to remind people to come into the clinic, not to forget about us and take a bit of time to donate blood.”

Having the Berry family stop by the office to receive a gift and meet Santa was a treat, Richer added.

“It’s nice to celebrate the holidays with the families, give them a couple gifts and it’s nice to have Santa here as well,” he said.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Sawyer and Parker Berry play with Christmas presents they received from Santa at Canadian Blood Services in Red Deer Friday morning. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Sawyer and Parker Berry play with Christmas presents they received from Santa at Canadian Blood Services in Red Deer Friday morning. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Just Posted

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

Meghan Huizing has been selected by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools as a finalist for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) 2021 Edwin Parr Award. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Red Deer Catholic names finalist for Edwin Parr Award

Meghan Huizing from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds has… Continue reading

GrammaLink-Africa members are participating in the Stride to Turn the Tide campaign until June 30. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer group walking to raise money for African grandmothers

A group of central Albertans will be walking every day until the… Continue reading

Westerner Days could be in line to have patrons in attendance this summer as the province teased reducing COVID-19 capacity limits on outdoor events. File photo by ADVOCATE staff
Province provides hope for attendance at summer events

The province has given a positive update to organizations that hold summer… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Lights on an internet switch are lit up as with users in an office in Ottawa, on February 10, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Analysts say CRTC ruling will help regional carriers with new limits on Big Three

Analysts say CRTC ruling will help regional carriers with new limits on Big Three

In this May 26, 2018, file photo, people listen to Michael Franti perform at the BottleRock Napa Valley music festival in Napa, Calif. Canadian music festival organizers hoped this summer would mark a return to concerts, but as COVID-19 cases rage on many have already dropped off the calendar. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Eric Risberg
Facing the music: Summer concert festival organizers see no path ahead in pandemic

Facing the music: Summer concert festival organizers see no path ahead in pandemic

FILE - Ali Stroker accepts the award for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical for her performance in "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!" at the 73rd annual Tony Awards in New York on June 9, 2019. Stroker teamed up with middle grade author Stacy Davidowitz for a new children's book "The Chance to Fly," published this week. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
Singer with disability shines in Ali Stroker’s new kids book

Singer with disability shines in Ali Stroker’s new kids book

Retired Ohio sheriff and tiny K-9 partner die the same day

Retired Ohio sheriff and tiny K-9 partner die the same day

Musicians play Sikh hymns during Vaisakhi celebrations at Guru Nanak Darbar of Long Island, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Hicksville, N.Y. Sikhs across the United States are holding toned-down Vaisakhi celebrations this week, joining people of other faiths in observing major holidays cautiously this spring as COVID-19 keeps an uneven hold on the country. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Sikhs mark toned-down holiday amid continuing virus concerns

Sikhs mark toned-down holiday amid continuing virus concerns

Have an opinion you'd like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
Letter: MLAs who are against tougher restrictions have no plan for consequences

The group of UCP MLAs pushing to end lockdowns are exacerbating what… Continue reading

Former Parti Quebecois leader Andre Boisclair leaves the police station after being charged with two counts of sexual assault dating back to 2014, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Preliminary inquiry in September for ex-PQ leader Boisclair charged with sex assault

MONTREAL — Former Parti Quebecois leader Andre Boisclair will have a preliminary… Continue reading

Three vials of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine are pictured in a new coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccination center at the Velodrome-Stadium in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Sohn, pool
Trudeau sending help to Ontario as Pfizer vaccine supply bolstered by 8 million doses

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says more doses of COVID-19 vaccines are coming… Continue reading

Most Read