Mother, mom, mommy, mama, madre, ma… she is a hero who goes by many different names and comes in many different shapes. This Mother’s Day, the American Red Cross encourages everyone to honor their moms and be someone’s hero by giving blood or platelets.
Blood and platelet donations help ensure lifesaving blood products reach those in need including accident victims, heart surgery patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
“I get to be a mom because of you!”
For Kathleen Dykman and Tracy Lee becoming a mom was expected; being an emergency blood recipient was not.
Four years ago, Dykman was pregnant with twins. At 38 weeks, her labor was induced, which is not uncommon for multiple birth pregnancies. However, after more than 30 hours of labor and concern for her babies’ health, Dykman was quickly admitted for an emergency caesarian surgery.
During the surgery, Dykman developed a rare, life-threatening blood disorder called disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) causing severe hemorrhaging and requiring immediate blood transfusions. If not treated quickly, DIC can be fatal to the mother and the babies due to massive blood loss or organ failure. Dykman needed approximately 24 units of blood and an additional six units in follow-up treatments. The blood products she received helped save her life.
Today, Dykman and her twins, Anna and Thomas, now age four, are healthy and grateful for volunteer blood donors.
“Thank you blood donors, because of you I get to be a mom,” said Dykman.
Lee also was experiencing a normal pregnancy until at 30 weeks her water broke. After being rushed to the hospital, doctors discovered Lee was experiencing severe complications that had not been previously identified. Soon after Lee began hemorrhaging and was rushed into emergency surgery where she received nine units of blood and platelets. The doctor told her husband it was “touch-and-go” … she almost didn’t make it.
Thankfully, today, Lee and her baby (now age five) are both thriving.
“I had given blood in the past but I never thought I would need it,” said Lee.
Schedule an appointment to donate blood this May
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S, needs bloods. That someone could be a mom. This Mother’s Day, help save a life and honor those who are cherished beyond measure with a blood donation. To schedule an appointment to give, simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Donors can use RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a mobile device or computer. Visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass to get started.