“What happens to my blood when I leave We Are Blood?”
It’s a question we get a lot. And one we really wish we could answer in full detail. The truth is, we usually know WHERE your blood goes, but we don’t typically know WHO it goes too.
And on the rare occasion that our hospital services department (the amazing group of people who follow your blood from donation, to testing, to packaging, and then make sure it gets out the door to the right people) do find out WHO your blood is helping, they wouldn’t even be able to share that with the rest of our team because of patient privacy laws.
What we do know, is that your blood is going to someone in our community who needs it to stay alive. Sometimes these are cancer patients, or new moms, or teeny tiny infants, or someone undergoing a routine surgery, or someone else who just experienced a traumatic car accident. They’re your neighbors, your family members, or, maybe more often, they’re complete strangers.
But all of them have received a second chance. And they got it because of you.
A year ago this month, Caitlin delivered her beautiful twin girls. But it wasn’t an easy delivery. She had an unexpected condition called placenta accreta, a dangerously high-risk pregnancy complication that occurs when blood vessels and other parts of the placenta grow too deeply into the uterine wall.
Upon delivery of Caitlin’s second daughter, she experienced mass hemorrhage. In just a few minutes, Caitlin lost the majority of the blood in her body.
Caitlin later told us, “My fast-thinking obstetrician and her team administered the life-saving blood transfusion I needed without skipping a beat. Thanks to We Are Blood and our awesome community of donors, I was able to go home and be a new mommy to my precious daughters!”
A year later, Caitlin’s family is thriving.
Shortly after Rana gave birth to her son Liam, she suffered a rare and usually fatal complication called an Amniotic Fluid Embolism. The condition caused her vital signs to plummet. As her body shut down, she lost consciousness and ceased breathing on her own.
One of the complications of the embolism was an inability for her blood to clot, which lead to massive internal bleeding. The doctors gave her over 30 units of blood and blood products (three times what her body usually contains!).
For almost 24 hours, Rana hovered near death. She required numerous blood transfusions, other high-risk treatments to help her blood clot, and a grave emergency surgery. Miraculously, she survived without any permanent damage.
Their Second Chance
Rana and her husband Will have since become rock star advocates of blood donation, and they have each volunteered many of their hours in an effort to help our community see the faces of blood donation.
A few months ago (while Rana’s parents were visiting from Molokai, Hawaii), Rana, Will and their son Liam stopped by our North Lamar Donor Center to make a family donation. Liam obviously couldn’t participate (he’s only 2, so we’ll forgive him), but Rana’s parents volunteered to keep a watchful eye so they could give back to the same resource that saved Rana’s life.
Rana’s husband Will was actually leaving on a trip to Singapore that afternoon, and he told us how it important it was that he be able make a donation before his trip in case his travels caused a future deferral.
Rana told us “it is very important to us that we continue to give back and help others. We give thanks every day for the blessings we have been given because of the selfless donors who donated their lifesaving gift to me two years ago. I am so thankful to be healthy enough to donate!”
Our blood supply is a shared community resource—something that bonds us all together. That bond is never more evident than when you find yourself on the receiving end of someone else’s donation.
If you haven’t, please consider becoming a blood donor today.