By Dana Simmons, American Red Cross
On July 14, 2004, Rick Krukowski’s life changed forever when he got into a vehicle accident on the freeway. After recovering from many injuries, he dedicated his life to giving back through volunteering and donating lifesaving blood with the American Red Cross.
Rick was the passenger in a truck when the vehicle he was in struck another truck on the side of the freeway. Rick bled out on the scene of the accident and flatlined. A helicopter took him to a nearby trauma center where he received eight lifesaving units of blood. This was just the beginning of a long recovery process for his brain injury and several other injuries he endured.
While Rick was in rehabilitation from his injuries, he started donating blood and he continues to donate his A positive blood and platelets as often as he can. “Without blood donors, I wouldn’t be here,” said Rick. “I have to give back and give blood every chance I can.”
Rick’s contribution to those in need didn’t stop at donating blood. He also got involved in the Red Cross mission by becoming a volunteer. “This is my second chance,” said Rick. “It seemed to fall into place to do good things and that ultimately led to my time at the Red Cross.”
Since 2017, Rick has been inseparable from the Red Cross mission. He is involved in sheltering operations, the feeding team, the Disaster Action Team and more. His favorite part of volunteering is the people he gets to work with. “It’s the greatest group of people in one spot that I’ve ever known,” Rick shared.
Despite the continued challenges Rick faces due to his brain injury, he persists. Thanks to his doctors and therapists, he has learned new ways to do his daily activities and how to deal with ongoing pain. Everyone at the Red Cross knows that Rick doesn’t let anything hold him back from helping others in need.
“The Red Cross was a welcomed surprise in my life. When I got here, I never looked back, and I’ve loved every minute of it. I don’t think there’s a better mission out there.”
The American Red Cross is grateful for Rick’s generous contributions to those in need.