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Blood Donation Basics
15 Nov 2021
Kevin was enjoying his busy life studying and having fun with friends as a sophomore on a full-ride college scholarship. He earned a 3.9 GPA while working three jobs. But, his pride and joy was starting the first and only collegiate motorcycle club called the “Sun Devil Riders.”
One day, Kevin was riding his motorcycle on the Ortega Highway in southern California. Suddenly a car ahead of him made an unexpected move and Kevin could not avoid hitting it. The collision threw Kevin off his motorcycle. He flew into a road with such force, it was destroyed on impact. Then, he hit a mountain wall, finally landing back on the roadway median line. Immobile and barely conscious, Kevin waited for the EMTs to arrive. He credits them for saving his life that day.
In the ambulance, Kevin was resuscitated twice before reaching the emergency room. He was rushed into surgery to control internal injuries, including a ruptured kidney caused by hitting the road sign. His severely damaged kidney was removed and Kevin was admitted to the ICU. A traumatic brain injury left him in a coma for more than four months. It also caused a long list of complications, including ataxia, a loss of muscle control; apraxia, an inability to perform tasks when asked; and epileptic seizures. Because of extreme swelling of his brain, part of his skull had to be removed. In all, Kevin underwent nearly 20 surgeries, including two back and eight brain surgeries.
During his eight months of hospitalization, Kevin received nine transfusions of red blood cells. Kevin’s mom flew from Arizona to California to help, letting the hospital staff know, “I will not leave California without my son.”
Upon waking from the coma, Kevin faced additional months of rehabilitation. Though he can’t remember everything that he went through, including receiving his first blood transfusion, he remembers feeling extremely thankful for the availability of blood and those who donate blood.
As soon as he was able after he left the hospital, Kevin made his first blood donation and continues to give blood every 56 days. Today, Kevin tirelessly extols the need for more blood donors on social media and in day-to-day interactions.
Kevin and his entire family want blood donors to know that they saved his life, and the lives of many others, though the selfless action of giving blood, for which they are eternally thankful.
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