Two weeks ago, five-month-old Nathan Whitehead was in critical condition at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. His health was failing as a result of an extremely rare liver disease that was progressing rapidly. Doctors told his parents, Christina and Robert, that their newborn would need a liver transplant. The Whiteheads were elated when they received the news that a donor was found and Nathan would receive a new liver. This good news was also welcomed by Robert’s colleagues at the Waste Management Laraway Landfill where he works as a laborer.
His team members rallied around Robert and his family after learning about Nathan’s condition. To show support, the team decided to host a blood drive with the Heartland Blood Centers. On Friday, August 14, Waste Management staff from Joliet Transfer Station, Laraway and Prairie View landfills rolled up their sleeves and donated blood. Robert’s mother, Liz Whitehead attended the event.
“I’ve never worked for a company with more compassion for people and the employees than Waste Management,” Robert said. “Waste Management truly cares.”
According to the American Red Cross, one pint of blood can save as many as three lives – the Waste Management team donated 17 pints of blood.
“In times like this, when we cannot begin to fix all of the obstacles that Rob and his family are facing, we are able to express our support and individual gratitude for our own blessings in other ways,” said Doug Hopkins, senior district manager of Laraway RDF. “This blood drive by the employees is a way that even if it doesn’t directly benefit baby Nathan, maybe it will help ease the burden that another family is experiencing.”
Nathan is currently doing well post-surgery. He is expected to remain at the hospital for a couple more weeks and then transfer to the Ronald McDonald House. The family invites people to like their Facebook page, Saving Baby Nathan, to follow their journey.