By Sanford Children's Hospital

Heather, Kaitlyn’s mom, knew something was wrong when her 23-month-old daughter woke up with unexplained bruises and was in pain doing every-day activities.

Kaitlyn’s primary care physician drew blood and found low levels of both red and white blood cells, and even lower levels of platelets. It was then that Kaitlyn would receive her first blood transfusion and first platelet transfusion at Sanford Children’s.

Kaitlyn underwent a bone marrow biopsy the next day, which revealed leukemic blasts and severe scarring in her bones.

While the biopsy was being further evaluated, Kaitlyn was sent home, returning a week later to find that her liver and spleen had nearly doubled in size. She was again admitted to the hospital for blood and platelet transfusions.

Katelyn was a beautiful 2 year old little girl who had to fight everyday of her life. She earned her angel wings in September 2015, and her impact on this world in her short time will never be forgotten.