By Ashley Henyan
Kayla Carlyle of Upper Marlboro, Maryland works as a vet tech, volunteers as an EMT, and studies medical laboratory sciences at the College of Southern Maryland. She’s passionate about everything that has anything to do with the medical experience. That’s why she also donates blood.
“Giving blood feels pretty amazing – almost surreal,” Kayla said. “I get to be a small part of someone else’s healthcare journey and I know my blood will go to a patient that really needs it to survive.”
Kayla made her first blood donation at a Red Cross blood drive in Dunkirk, Maryland in the spring of 2021. Learning more about subjects like cross matching blood for transfusion, identifying pathogenic organisms, and the chemical analysis of blood prompted her to start giving the gift of life.
“It became evident that everyone eligible should give blood often – especially for those hospital patients needing regular blood transfusions.”
Kayla is right. The need for blood is constant. In fact, the American Red Cross must collect about 12,500 pints of blood every single day – just to keep up with hospital demand. Plus, blood is in short supply right now, especially as the summer months wind down and families turn their focus toward back-to-school activities.
Kayla is excited to complete her associates degree this coming May. She plans to go on to earn her bachelor’s—and eventually attend medical school before working as a Pathologist specializing in research and blood banking.
“And I plan to continue to give blood for the rest of my life—as often as I can!”