Sickle cell disease is a blood disease that can affect every organ in the body. It's an inherited and incurable condition, but it can be treated and managed. Sickle cell patients, like 12-year-old Justin Ruiz of Hilton Head Island, also have an increased risk of stroke. Justin needs annual tests to assess his stroke risk. However, one of his parents had to miss a full day of work, and he would miss a full day of school and soccer practice, to get the test done in Charleston at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).
A new telehealth program at MUSC Children's Health in Beaufort has changed that. Justin can get the same scan done at his primary care doctor's office, and the results are available immediately. The Ruiz family says they save time, and most importantly for Justin, he doesn't have to miss soccer practice.