HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Thirty-five year-old Tierra McDonald of Wiggins is a sickle-cell patient. She has received blood transfusions since ever since she was 11 months old.
"Lately I've been going every month to get a transfusion," McDonald said. "Sometimes they'll keep me overnight maybe like a night or two."
She lives a much fulfilled life, but she said there are days when the sickle-cell disease causes her extreme pain.
"It hurts all the time," McDonald said. "Like you could be having a good day, everything is going good and all of a sudden it can like hit you at once. And you'll go into crisis. It just starts hurting."
McDonald said the blood transfusions along with pain medication help to reduce the pain.
"I've had so many transfusions where I've set up so many antibiotics that it does take a little longer for me to get my blood then some normal sickle cell patients," McDonald said.
She appreciates the support of her family, especially her mother.
"She's always there for me," McDonald said. "She's always at the hospital with me. She's always by my side. She's very helpful. We have a very good relationship.
McDonald encourages people to donate blood to help others like her.
"A lot of people don't understand how much blood can really save your life," McDonald said.
United Blood Services encourages people to give blood every eight weeks or three to four times a year.