Madison County
Feature Story
Seven year old Tyeasha Summers loves Hannah Montana and playing outside. It’s that last part that sometimes gets her into trouble. As a hemophiliac, “normal” bumps, bruises and cuts are anything but.

Even a paper cut can be a major concern. It was a paper cut that wouldn’t stop bleeding that caused Donna Summers to take her daughter to the doctor in 2005. Donna has a twelve-year-old son with the disease, but was told that, while girls could carry the gene, they couldn’t be affected by hemophilia, which causes blood not to clot normally.

Doctors in Huntsville suggested they go to Children’s Hospital, where they learned that girls can indeed suffer the effects of hemophilia. Since local doctors are reluctant to treat her, Tyeasha comes to Birmingham for everything – infusion following an accident, prescriptions, and even visits to a dentist.

In addition to hemophilia, Tyeasha has been diagnosed with ADHD, acid reflux and a severe allergy to dairy products. Keeping her safe is a full-time job. Luckily, the bright pink helmet and colorful elbow and knee pads prescribed at Children’s help.

“Children’s Hospital is like a good friend,” says Tyeasha’s mom, Donna. “When we leave Huntsville, we have to ride the Greyhound to Birmingham. They’ll put us in Ronald McDonald’s House while she has her treatments and teach us what to do for her medically. They help us get the equipment and the medicine she needs. Her medicine is $6,500 per bottle. If it weren’t for Children’s, she would not get the help she needs.”