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The Student News Site of West Delaware High School

Inklings

The Student News Site of West Delaware High School

Inklings

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A Sickness Like No Other

Teacher Tammy Philipp Learns to Appreciate Blood Donors
Teacher+Tammy+Philipp+experienced+issues+with+her+health+last+spring.+She+clearly+sees+the+benefit+of+blood+donations.
Audrey Jolley
Teacher Tammy Philipp experienced issues with her health last spring. She clearly sees the benefit of blood donations.

Four units of blood. That is how many units were needed to save teacher Tammy Philipp’s life last spring.

In March of 2023, Philipp experienced a sickness like no other.  

“Instead of filtering the blood and sending it back, my spleen just started to collect it,” said Philipp. “All of the red blood cells and all of the white blood cells were collecting in my spleen.” This caused a shortage of blood in the rest of Philipp’s body. 

This issue caused Philipp’s spleen to enlarge. Doctors believe that the ultimate cause of this was cancer of the spleen.

“It ended up being 20 pounds,” said Philipp. This led the doctors to eventually have to remove her spleen.

Medical professionals were nervous about how Philipp’s body would react if more procedures needed to be done. As her blood count and platelet counts were low, she was put at a higher risk for surgery.

“When I was in the hospital the last time, they didn’t want to give me any platelets because they said my spleen would just end up absorbing them anyway,” Philipp said. “Platelets weren’t going to help me. I knew I was sick and not feeling well, but I didn’t know the extent.”

In March, Philipp had low hemoglobin levels, putting her body in need of two units of blood and sending her to the hospital. 

“I had high fevers and chills and was super weak,” Philipp said. “I ended up needing three blood transfusions in total.”

For obvious reasons, blood donation is very important to Philipp.

“If it weren’t for those who donated, I wouldn’t be here,” Philipp said. “In emergency situations, it is critical. Those who donate are going to save lives.”

Philipp is finally feeling better.

“My blood counts are back to completely normal, but you never know what could be,” Philipp said. “A year ago, I would have never, ever, thought that I would have a 20-pound spleen. You just never know.”

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About the Contributor
Audrey Jolley, Staff
Hi all! My name is Audrey Jolley and I am a senior at West Delaware. I am extremely involved here at school being a part of cross country, student council, musical, the Vocal All-State process, speech, All-State Speech, play, NHS, and show choir. In my spare time, I love to hang out with my friends and family. I have jobs at Fareway, Lori French Travel/La Beach Bum Tanning, and I lifeguard during the summer. After school, I plan to go into secondary education for high school English teaching.

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