Heydan Morrison and family
St. Joseph Island, Ontario
“Heydan wouldn’t be where he is right now if it wasn’t for intravenous immunoglobulin,” says Shannon Morrison. “For me, it’s a game changer.”
Heydan Morrison, now nine, has relied on immunoglobulin — a medication derived from donated plasma — since he was five years old. His mother, Shannon, expects he’ll need it for the rest of his life to treat a rare immune disorder called hypogammaglobulinemia.
“Sometimes I have to get needles, so I have to be brave,” says Heydan.
Before starting the medication, Heydan was constantly ill. He was hospitalized with pneumonia more than once, and he wasn’t growing or gaining weight normally. Today, he’s caught up to his classmates in height and weight, he’s full of energy, and he’s “probably the healthiest one in the house,” Shannon says.
Prior to the pandemic, Heydan’s family had travelled to Sudbury so he could thank blood donors personally at the city’s donor centre. Then, when Canadian Blood Services opened a new plasma centre in Sudbury in August 2020, Heydan was on hand to give out thank-you cards to the donors. Shannon and her mother, Marlene Wilson, were the first to donate at the new centre, and Shannon intends to keep donating plasma, despite the long trip to Sudbury that’s required.
“If I have to drive three hours, to me, it’s so worth it.”