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Baker, Florida

I donated long before I was ever on the receiving end - I have a new perspective now that I know firsthand how very lifesaving blood donations are (for myself, my mother and my father).

I nearly died from a severe pregnancy complication - HELLP Syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets). Transfusions helped save my life. Transfusions also saved my parents lives more than once - my mother after complications during a back surgery and my father when he had complications with the blood thinners he was on. I am O negative and I donate as often as I can.


During my first pregnancy, I felt like I had the flu - then my nose and gums started bleeding . I chalked it all up to first time pregnancy symptoms, what I thought was horrible heartburn bothered me enough to stop by the ER - on my way to teach.  I had six weeks to go and a long to do list - maternity lesson plans, prepping meals, baby clothes, the crib...I was furious when I was taken to labor and delivery! 

The nurses hurried to get the doctor to try to calm me down. The next thing I knew, the doctor was calmly explaining that I would have my daughter that day - by emergency C section.

As I was wheeled into the operating room - I begged and cried for the life of my child. There wasn't a neonatal ICU there - I didn't care about my life - only hers mattered...we made it through the surgery. Later the doctor and  nurses explained that I needed a platelet transfusion. Normal platelets numbers are 150,000+ - mine were below 50,000 and dropping. I needed a transfusion...they located what was needed. 

HELLP syndrome hit our family again when my daughter Lily Gene was born. Another emergency c section. I'll never know who donated that lifesaving blood, plasma, and platelets that made my life and the life of my daughter Lily possible. Whoever they are, they are in my daily prayers of all that I am thankful for.

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