Red Cross team member shares ‘full circle’ experiences that inspire her to give back
Sarah Judkins says she didn’t fully appreciate the constant need for blood donors – even when she began working for the American Red Cross.
It wasn’t until a year later when she was called away from work at a blood drive due to a family emergency. She learned that her brother was experiencing complications from a planned surgical procedure, and upon arriving at the hospital still wearing her scrubs from the blood drive, the first thing she saw hanging over his bed was a unit of donated blood.
It was at that moment Sarah made a deep-rooted connection. “This is what I do every day, and now it has touched my family personally,” she recalled thinking at the time. She says her brother would’ve lost his life that day had he not received multiple blood transfusions made possible by volunteer blood donors.
Sarah experienced additional “full circle” moments years later when her mother, Jane, who suffered from a degenerative bone disease, went to the hospital for a seventh hip surgery and needed platelets in order to move forward with the procedure. Eight months later, Jane again received donor blood in the form of plasma, platelets and red cells when she underwent open heart surgery.
A regular donor herself, Sarah currently gives platelets and plasma and has rolled up her sleeves 14 times already this year alone in order to make a difference for others facing the unexpected.