The Dean family in Bel Air is hosting a day of giving on Nov. 9 in honor of the kindness and generosity that was shown to them during one of their toughest times.
Eight-year-old Ashton Dean was born with arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which is a condition that causes an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain. The condition sent him into cardiac arrest in May.
“He had this really bad hemorrhage in the middle night, where he choked on his own blood – he actually drowned in his own blood,” Betsy Dean said. “My husband had to do CPR.”
Ashton was rushed to the hospital, and then spent five weeks at Johns Hopkins where he had three blood transfusions. During the weeks the family sat by Ashton’s side, Dean said they received an abundance of well wishes, and offers to help.
While at the hospital, Ashton suffered multiple hemorrhages, and as Dean stepped out of the room one night to gather herself, she realized exactly how people could help.
“I just heard these doctors yelling, 'we need platelets,’” Dean said. “And I was like, 'Wow, this is amazing.’ And it occurred to me that if more people gave [blood], it wouldn’t be such a problem.”
Ashton is back home now, but the weeks in the hospital left him unable to walk. Due to the AVM he attends abbreviated school days, because he tires out easily.
“I am hoping he will get stronger and be able to walk, but there’s no intervention they can do,” Dean said. “We just rely a lot on our faith.”
While her son battled for his life at Johns Hopkins, Dean said the support she received from the community was overwhelming, which is why they decided they would host an event that allowed everyone the opportunity to give back.
Ashton’s Angels Day of Giving offers multiple ways to give back. The family will host a blood drive, as well as a pillowcase and canned food drive.
When Ashton was in the hospital someone gave him a homemade pillowcase, which Dean said, “brightened up the whole room.” The pillowcases collected during the day of giving will be given to children in the hospital.
“We really want others to feel the joy of giving,” Dean said. “And we want to give back because everyone has been so generous to us.”
Ashton’s Angels Day of Giving will be held at St. Matthew Lutheran Church on Churchville Road from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 9. Those who wish to attend can signup to give blood by calling 1800-733-2767. The event will also feature entertainment for kids. For more information, click here.