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Grateful Maine Man Pays it Forward

Two years ago, Ray Poulin (of Gray) was a healthy adult enjoying life with his wife Nikki, their two daughters when he suddenly developed a serious blood infection called sepsis.  The illness started out with a fever and extreme fatigue but when Ray’s temperature reached 106 degrees he went to the hospital.

Ray’s liver and kidneys failed and his doctors made the decision to place him in an induced coma while they developed a strategy to deal with his raging blood infection. A mass-transfusion kit was ordered when Ray’s liver hemorrhaged causing an immediate need for blood and his hospital room was converted into a makeshift operating room.

By the time Ray’s health crisis was contained he had received 77 units of blood.  Doctors informed Ray’s family that they had done everything they could do and he had about a 10 percent chance of pulling through.

Ray had that will to live and now says, “there was a lot that went into saving my life but if the blood wasn’t available when I needed it, I wouldn’t be here today.  After a full recovery, Ray wanted to give back to those whose selfless blood donations saved his life so he created an awareness campaign about donating blood, called RaysUp.  The campaign started with an original goal of giving back the 77 units received during Ray’s battle with sepsis; however, the campaign has, to date, collected more than 250 units of lifesaving blood.