In order to promote awareness of the upcoming 16th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup to be held at the Freshman Campus Auditorium on November 20 and 21, we share stories of local Okeechobee folks who have received donations of blood and the difference it made in their lives.
Pastor Josh Petty of The Church of the Nazarene shares this story about his son who was 24 years old at the time:
“In 2018, my wife and I and our three children were sitting around the kitchen table, eating dinner and discussing the day’s events. Our oldest son, Huston, had come from work to join us for dinner. All of a sudden my very healthy son collapsed, unconscious and unresponsive. The ambulance came and the EMTs revived him then transported him to the emergency room at Raulerson Hospital.
In the hospital, it was discovered Huston had an internal bleed but an endoscopy did not reveal where he was bleeding. My son was losing so much blood internally that he required six units of blood over a three day period as the medical staff searched for the place from which he was bleeding. On the fourth day, my son crashed and coded. The crash team revived him and he was rushed to JFK Medical Center. At JFK, he received two more units of blood before a bleeding ulcer was found and surgery performed to close it up. Since that time, we have donated blood because we know first-hand how important it is to have a steady supply available for emergencies like my son experienced.”
In all of the stories we have shared over the past 15 years several themes are common: all of those who received blood and blood byproducts are very thankful for the people who donated that blood; many of those who received blood often donate and encourage those who can donate to do so. Recipients of blood remind us that you cannot predict when you or a loved one may need a blood transfusion or an infusion of blood byproducts; and, most importantly, those who donate blood are heroes in the eyes of the recipients and their loved ones.
Here are some facts you may not know: Blood must be donated; blood cannot be manufactured; effective and safe synthetic or artificial blood does not exist. But YOUR one unit of blood has the potential to save three lives.
Please thank Pastor Josh for sharing Huston’s story by donating the gift of life – your blood – at the 16th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup on November 20 and 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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.