Doctors knew something was drastically wrong when Henry Etsell, then one year old, lost two-thirds of his blood during routine surgery. He would spend the next five days at Seattle Children’s receiving multiple blood transfusions and clotting factor to control his bleeding.
Henry’s parents, Chad and Nicolette Etsell, were in for a shock—Henry had hemophilia. Henry’s younger brother, Graham, would later receive the same diagnosis.
Fortunately, the Etsells could turn to the Hemophilia Care Program at Washington Center for Bleeding Disorders (WCBD) for help and support. Located at Bloodworks, the WCBD has been a resource for people with bleeding disorders for more than 40 years. The Etsells were among 450 patients treated by the WCBD last year.
It turns out Nicolette is a symptomatic carrier of the hemophilia gene and has mild hemophilia. She goes to the center for her annual physical and other checkups, and Henry and Graham both receive regular care from a team of doctors and nurses at Seattle Children’s who partner closely with WCBD to care for children with bleeding disorders. And thanks to the center’s 24-hour telephone helpline, the Etsells can get advice anytime from hemophilia nurse specialists.
“The WCBD has changed our whole outlook on living with hemophilia,” Nicolette says. “We now have the tools and resources to keep our family healthy and live our lives with the disease just in the background.”