DEPOSIT, NY – A little boy who has faced significant health challenges during his young life had a blood drive held in his honor on Monday.
The United Methodist Church on 2nd Street in Deposit held the Red Cross drive in honor of Jackson Vandermark.
The 6-year old suffered from Shone’s Disease, which resulted in serious heart-related issues immediately following his birth.
His battles have included open-heart surgeries, and a full heart transplant when he was 4.
Vandermark even had an 8-month stay in the hospital because his body was rejecting his new heart, including multiple blood transfusions.
Vandermark’s mother, Lisa, says Jackson is doing well now, even during the pandemic.
“Even afterwards, up to 6 months especially is very crucial afterwards. We had to be very careful. Thank God he’s doing well, but you do always have to keep in the back of your head that there’s the potential for rejection,” says Lisa.
22 ounces of blood were raised at the drive, which the Red Cross says could go toward saving 66 lives.
Vandermark says Jackson, who attends Deposit Central School now, will be taking anti-rejection medication for the rest of his life.
She says Jackson is able to go hunting with his father, Jay, frequently.