May is National Trauma Awareness Month. It was established to increase awareness and education surrounding trauma and to build prevention resources that benefit communities throughout the country.
At OneBlood, we also take the opportunity to teach about the critical impact that blood donations have on trauma patients.
Each year, trauma accounts for 41 million ER visits and requires a ready blood supply for quick and safe blood transfusions. Blood cannot be manufactured, which means the blood supply solely relies on the generosity of blood donors.
Melissa Dohme is a trauma survivor and is grateful for the blood donors who gave her the gift of life. In 2012, Melissa’s abusive ex-boyfriend attacked her outside her mother’s home. She was stabbed 32 times and left for dead. She was airlifted to the nearest trauma center and the helicopter crew administered blood transfusions in flight to help keep her alive.
Melissa lost her entire blood volume and needed 12 units of blood to survive. Recently, she gave us an update on how she is doing and shared a very important message about blood donations.
We would love to hear how you are doing and an update on The Remedy Farm.
I am doing very well! Cameron and I have been married for four years now. I work full-time at Julie Weintraub‘s Hands Across the Bay, a nonprofit organization in Clearwater since 2013. I am now the director of family services. The alpacas have been home with us at The Remedy Farm for just over a year. We live in San Antonio, FL, and have 8 alpacas and 1 llama.
We have learned so much over the last year about becoming alpaca farmers! COVID-19 did delay our opening to the public but we have been focusing on private visits and improving the farm project by project. It is our mission to spread happiness and healing, one smile and visit at a time. Check us out on social media @theremedyfarm
What words of encouragement do you have for patients recovering from trauma?
Never give up. Sometimes when we find ourselves in a dark place, we think we have been buried in those circumstances. I would like other trauma survivors to work on changing their perspectives. If we can’t change the situation that we are in, we must change how we view it.
So instead of being “buried” I would like patients to think of themselves as “planted.” You need to give yourself time to heal and grow. Since my trauma was due to a domestic violence attack, I say that my abuser tried to bury me, but he didn’t know I was a seed. I chose to grow from the dirt I was left in and follow wherever God leads me to blossom and bloom. This has helped me persevere through dark times knowing that the sun will always rise again.
Being an advocate for trauma awareness, how do you help others?
I am so blessed to work at Hands Across the bay and directly help individuals who have experienced traumatic events. I can relate to many we have helped as I myself have survived trauma. Knowing you are not alone is so important when going through hard times.
Speaking out about my story has helped me heal so much over the years. I am grateful to be alive today to spread my message to youth in hopes of raising awareness for domestic violence and teaching them how to break the cycle.
What or who was a source of strength for you during your recovery?
Above all, God has gotten me through each day. I truly feel I have been blessed with many miracles and I give Him all the glory!! I pray and listen to worship music when needing strength. In addition, my mom, sister, and husband mean everything to me. They are my rocks!
How have blood donations impacted your life?
Blood donations have saved my life! After being attacked in 2012, I received multiple life-saving transfusions that began in the helicopter ride to Bayfront hospital. Overall, I was given 12 units of blood in additional 4 units of plasma. I wouldn’t be here today without selfless blood donors who took the time to donate. I am forever grateful.
What message would you like to share with the community about blood donations?
I was a blood donor before the attack happened, never knowing or even imagining I would need them in return someday. I encourage everyone who is able to give the gift of life. It could be you, your best friend, your parents, or your child who may unexpectedly need it in an emergency someday. If you’re unable to donate, please help spread the word!
Blood loss is the second most common cause of death among the traumatically injured. Together we can help replenish the blood supply for patients in need. Trauma patients deserve a second chance at life, click here to give them that gift.