St. George Boy Scout organizes upcoming blood drive in hopes of paying it forward

Composite image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Tyler Clyde was born with a rare congenital disease and only a 10 percent chance of survival. Fifteen years later, he wants to repay those who helped him in the past by conducting a blood drive for his Eagle Scout project. The drive will be held Wednesday from 12:30-6:30 p.m. at the Santa Clara City Hall offices, 2603 Santa Clara Drive.

Clyde was born with a rare condition known as congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a genetic condition that causes a hole in a fetus’s diaphragm. Organs can squeeze through that hole and crush the heart and lungs.

He was born in a Salt Lake City hospital in 2002 and had his first diaphragm repair at five days old and another at four months. A third surgery was required when he was 14. In a statement from Clyde, he said each surgery required time in ICU, and he had to be put on life support all three times.

“I am so grateful to everyone that donates blood as I was the recipient after my second surgery,” he said in the statement. “Having CDH will cause me health issues my whole life, but I feel strongly that it is giving me an opportunity to give back and make the world better.”

The St. George Boy Scout hopes to reach 55 donors as part of his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout. Besides working toward his Eagle Scout and paying it forward, Clyde said he hopes to also raise awareness about CDH, which he said occurs in approximately 1 out of 2,500 births and is as common as spina bifida and cystic fibrosis.

“There are many families in Southern Utah that are dealing with CDH,” he said.

For more information, contact K. Scott Brown at the American Red Cross in St. George 435-216-7742.

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