Former State Official In Hospital With Rare Blood Disorder

FRANKFORT, KY -- One week after being diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, former Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Tom Bennett is stable and in the coronary care unit of Louisville's Baptist Hospital East, reports the Frankfort State Journal.

Bennett, who is 56, found out last week that he has a blood disorder that causes clots when blood platelets clump. Bennett must receive two treatments a day to replace the platelets in his blood, reports the State Journal.

The rare blood disorder is called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Famiily and friends of Bennett made a plea for plasma from AB positive or AB negative donors. Only 1 percent of the population have Bennett's AB negative blood type, according to the American Red Cross.

Several days later, the Bennett family received a statement from the Red Cross, thanking the community for the "outpouring of support for Tom Bennett. Red Cross is able to meet all of his blood product needs thanks to generous donors," the statement said.

His mother, Tommie Bennett, of Frankfort, said Thursday her son would have to be hospitalized several more weeks before he takes rehabilitation, the State Journal reports.

A family member reported Saturday afternoon that "The family thanks everyone for the overwhelming support and all the thoughts and prayers."

"It's helping us get through this tough time," said Kate Bennett, his 23-year old daughter.

Before serving as fish and wildlife commissioner from 1993 to 2005, Bennett worked as deputy secretary of the state Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet and then in the office of Gov. Brereton Jones, reports the Frankfort State Journal.

Copyright - The Frankfort State Journal

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