by Krystal Smith, American Red Cross Regional Digital Communications Specialist
One of the American Red Cross’s most recognized service lines is blood services. Every day, around the nation, the Red Cross hosts blood drives. The blood collected by the Red Cross accounts for 40 percent of the blood supplied by hospitals. While most people think of tragic accidents resulting in the need for blood, blood can be provided for any number of situations; including premature births.
Three years ago, on September 12, 2013, Alex Morgan, was born prematurely. At only 34 weeks and weighing only three pounds, Alex was sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) immediately following birth.
A short time later in a nearby recovery room, his mother, Lisa, woke up from sedation and was told Alex’s platelet count was too low and that he needed blood. Her first decision as a new mother was giving consent for her newborn child to receive a blood transfusion.
The hospital staff immediately provided Alex the needed blood and then provided another life-saving transfusion the following day.
“Not my perfect picture of an idyllic birth,” Lisa recalls as she reflects on the day her life changed. “I will be forever grateful to those two generous donors who helped save my child’s life!”
Alex is now a happy, healthy, and busy little 3-year-old boy. He loves playing outside, watching Thomas & Friends, and running around making people smile.
While Alex will never remember the day his life was saved, it’s a day his mother will never forget!
When asked if she had anything she wanted to say to blood donors, a heartfelt Lisa replied, “If you’re a regular blood donor, thank you! If you’ve never donated blood before or it’s been awhile, please consider donating soon so it’s available for another mom or dad or newborn, like Alex.”
When blood is needed, it is the blood already on the shelves at the hospitals that save lives. You can be a hero, you can save a life! Click to find a blood drive near you or sign up to host a blood drive.