Medicine: Blood for Billy

Billy Meers is four years old. Unless he gets at least a pint of blood a day, Billy Meers will die soon of renal edema, a kidney disease characterized by leakage of blood proteins into the urine. There are hundreds of patients like Billy in the U.S. Their blood needs are so extravagant that most doctors and hospitals give up the fight quickly, and the patient dies.

But the Baylor University Hospital blood bank in Dallas has been generous to Billy. Since September it has given him 227 pints of plasma. Last week,...

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