In order to promote awareness of the upcoming 16th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup to be held at the Freshman Campus Auditorium on Nov. 20 and 21, we share stories of local Okeechobee folks who have received donations of blood and the difference it made in their lives.
Alicia Lachance is President of the Republican Club of Okeechobee. She wants to share her stories – not one but five – of receiving donated blood. The first time Alicia needed blood to replace what she had lost was in 1975 after she had a hysterectomy. As she was recovering, Alicia’s blood pressure got so low that she was rushed back into surgery where it was discovered that she was losing a lot of blood because an artery had not been tied off during the hysterectomy. Alicia remained in a coma for three days during which she received multiple units of donated blood.
In September 1990, Alicia had a massive heart attack. An angioplasty procedure was performed which involved using a balloon to stretch open a blocked artery by inserting a catheter in her groin. During the procedure an artery in her heart was nicked and she began losing blood. Although the hole in her artery was the size of a pin prick, she lost a great deal of blood, fell into a coma, and nearly died before the small hole was found and cauterized. Four months later, in January 1991, following another angioplasty procedure, the site where the catheter was inserted in her groin opened up and blood spurted out so hard it hit the wall of the hospital room. Alicia received multiple transfusions of donated blood to replace that which she lost after both angioplasty procedures.
In 2003, Alicia was scheduled for surgery to have a portion of a lung removed. Knowing that she needed blood to replace what she might lose during the operation, her two daughters went to the hospital lab and donated their blood. Once again, in 2009, her daughters donated their blood when Alicia hemorrhaged after having a polyp removed during a routine colonoscopy.
Alicia believes that God sent angels to watch over her during her five episodes of major blood loss and the angels on earth, including her daughters, who by donating blood, saved her life each time.
Please thank Alicia for sharing her stories by donating the gift of life – your blood – at the 16th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup on Nov. 20 and 21, from 9 to 5 at the Freshman Campus Auditorium. All blood donors will receive a commemorative Roundup T-shirt and the FIRST 200 donors will receive a goody bag donated by The Hoskins-Turco Law Office. Make an appointment on line at OneBlood.org or call 1-888-9-DONATE.