Blood drive coordinators have many reasons that motivate them to host a blood drive. For many, their lives have been touched by blood donation through a friend, family member, or co-worker. For others, like Kerri their personal experience as a blood recipient inspires them to pay it forward.
In 2022, Kerri received ten unites of blood over the span of three separate visits to the emergency room.
“I had been feeling unwell [with] dizziness and fainting so I went to the doctor. At my appointment, they took blood to run tests and such. The very next day I received a frantic call from my doctor who informed me that I was extremely low on blood and needed to go to the ER immediately… my H[hemoglobin] level was a 5.
After the first transfusion, doctors attributed her blood loss to her menstrual cycle and referred her to her gynecologist. During her next appointment, they found Kerri’s hemoglobin level was at 5, again, resulting in three more units of blood and another night in the emergency room.
Unbelievably, her journey did not stop there. After seeing an OBGYN specialist, they identified she was experiencing complications from fibroids and endometriosis. Kerri was once again sent to the emergency room, this time, for an emergency hysterectomy. During her two-day stay, she received an additional four units of blood.
“I had no idea that the lack of blood was contributing to my health issues in such an extreme way. I could have died. My hair was falling out, I was extremely pale and had no color on my lips. I ate a lot of ice, and I was always tired. I look back on photos from that time and I can't believe how sick I looked. I just didn't know it. All [of] this was happening as I was starting a brand-new job,” Kerri recalls.
On the mend and back at work Kerri is excited to be coordinating her first blood drive with Vitalant through her employer and their local Kiwanis Club in Arizona on February 21.
“This [blood drive] seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to give back… I am hopeful to get as many donors as possible. I know that this is when blood donations are at the lowest.”
Host a blood drive or refer a friend today.