LEVANT, Maine — Tammy Haskell, 36, is a spiritual person, a soldier who has served two tours of duty in Iraq, and she believes in helping others.
Haskell, who has O-positive blood, has volunteered to be tested to see if she is a match for Karlee Shannon, the 14-month-old Milo toddler who has a genetic liver condition and needs a liver transplant.
‘’That’s amazing,’’ Karlee’s mother, Erynn Bailey, said Friday when she learned of Haskell’s offer. Choking up as she spoke, Bailey said, ‘’I thank her from the bottom of my heart.’’
‘’We’re always told about selfless service in the military and the Army. … If you have the chance to help others, you help others,’’ Haskell said Friday.
Haskell, who read about Karlee’s plight on the Bangor Daily News website Thursday, said when she was little, she was a blond, blue-eyed child just like Karlee.
A full-time student at the New England School of Communications, Haskell said she had served seven years in the Army and had completed two tours of duty in Iraq. She plans to return to the Army as a commissioned officer once her studies have been completed.
‘’When I put my name on the dotted line, I knew I was going to go to war,’’ Haskell said. ‘’I am not afraid of death. I’ve seen death before. I’ve stared it in the face.’’
She said she doesn’t want a toddler to face an early death. ‘’She’s only 14 months old. She’s got her whole life ahead of her.’’
Healthy, Haskell said she works out at the gym twice a day and eats only natural food. She hopes she is a match. ‘’I’ll give her part of my liver’’ gladly, she said.
‘’People have got to be willing to be man enough or woman enough to step up to the plate,’’ Haskell added. ‘’I’m a very spiritual person. I believe there is a higher power and Jesus Christ sacrificed himself on the cross. … He could have walked away but he didn’t, and I want do the same thing.’’
Anyone wishing to help the family with Karlee’s medical expenses may send checks to Erynn Bailey at 71 Main St., Milo 04463.