Thanks to the medicine made from blood donor plasma, Chris can lead a relatively normal life. "I would not be here without all of those donors."
Chris has haemophilia. This is a hereditary disease. His body cannot make the clotting protein Factor VIII. Because of this, Chris often has internal bleeding in his joints. Thanks to the medicine made from blood donor plasma, Chris can lead a relatively normal life. "I would not be here without all of those donors." Chris was born in the late 1950s in the Radboud Hospital in Nijmegen. When Chris was young, he regularly woke up with a bleed.
Keeping rest for weeks
Chris: "Fortunately the treatment with fresh plasma was already available back then. Before that, haemophilia patients with a bleed would have to keep rest for a few weeks to allow the bleeding to stop an the swelling to reduce."
Living normally thanks to plasma medicine
Purified Factor VIII is now available as a powder. Patients dissolve it in a small amount of water and inject the medicine. One unit of the medicine is an amount of Factor VIII collected from dozens of donors. I administer one unit of Factor VIII three times per week.
When he was sixteen, Chris asked his doctor what jobs patients with haemophilia had. Chris: "The doctor told me that almost all haemophilia patients are work disabled. That gave me a scare. My joints had suffered a lot from the bleeding, but you don't need knees for everything. So I completed training as an analyst. I found work in the blood transfusion unit of the Radboud Hospital. As a joke, I recently wrote that I have been working in this hospital since birth on a form somewhere.
Chris: "I have a normal life; I have a job, I'm married, with two children. I see what I am able to do." For example, I cannot cycle because of my knees, but I can drive a car. I have faith in the future. Thanks to the donors who voluntarily donate their plasma."