Susan C. • Eugene, OR

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I am thankful to blood donors because...

I am grateful to blood donors because some years ago I needed many transfusions. After I regained my health I began donating so that I could help others and in fact on December 2 2009 I gave my 117th whole blood donation. In 1971 while my husband and I were living in Colorado I became pregnant. We were really excited about this but it was a nerve-wracking time as I had suffered numerous miscarriages. At the beginning everything seemed to be going well with this pregnancy but then still early on I started passing blood. Doctors diagnosed a placenta previa (where the placenta is lying low in the uterus next to or covering the cervix) and prescribed complete bed rest. All throughout my 5 months in the hospital I lost large amounts of blood requiring many transfusions to keep me and my baby alive. At one point I exhausted the hospital's supply of my blood type and a unit had to be rushed in from another blood bank. And once during my lengthy hospitalization I was so dangerously ill that a priest performed the last rites for me.

As my husband and I were so anxious to have a child I was willing to undergo all the medical treatment hospital stay and life-threatening blood loss in an attempt to save the baby. At 8-1/2 months doctors decided to perform a Cesarean section but sadly my baby daughter did not survive. And then I contracted an infection and had to remain hospitalized continuing to receive transfusions. After a couple of years when I had finally regained my health I knew I wanted to help others by giving blood. I started donating wherever we lived as we moved around through my husband's military career. I hope that my story will help inspire others to begin donating blood.

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