Blood donors help prolong and save lives

Carl & Roseann Stanford both benefitted from blood transfusions.
Carl & Roseann Stanford both benefitted from blood transfusions.
Courtesy photo

In order to promote awareness of the upcoming 18th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup to be held at the Freshman Campus Auditorium on Nov. 18 and 19, we share stories of local Okeechobee folks who have received donations of blood and the difference it made in their lives.

Carl and Roseann Stanford both received blood transfusions that helped prolong life, in Roseann’s case, and helped save a life, in Carl’s case.

Four years ago, Roseann was diagnosed with cancer of the bone marrow in her spine. Until the time of her passing two years ago, Roseann required blood transfusions to boost her red blood cell count two or three times a month. Carl is thankful for the generous blood donors who allowed him to spend more time with his beloved Roseann. Carl and Roseann were married for 38 years and, to commemorate their 25th anniversary, they renewed their vows to each other.

Carl’s blood transfusion story takes place in 1972 when he was a sophomore at Colmesneil High School in Woodville County, Texas. A friend of his had installed a speed shifter in his 1958 Chevy and wanted to see how fast his car would go. Carl got in his friend’s car along with five other kids. As they were barreling down a hill on a dirt road, they did not know the road was washed away at the bottom of the hill. The car hit the washout then flipped three times end over end and landed upside down. Carl ended up going through the windshield and landed between the hood and the motor of the car.

In the accident, Carl lost his left ear, almost lost his right ear, his jaw was broken in four places, and he had a broken skull. Carl was taken to the hospital in Woodville, where he was stabilized, and then he was taken to Beaumont which was about 60 miles away. At the Beaumont hospital, the doctor told Carl he could not give him any pain medicine so he used acupuncture. Carl was transported 140 miles to Galveston where he spent three weeks recovering from his injuries. During those three weeks, Carl received a total of ten units of blood to replace that which he had lost.

Please thank Carl for sharing his and Roseann’s stories by donating the gift of life - your blood - at the 18th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup on Nov. 18 and 19, from 9 to 5 at the Freshman Campus Auditorium. All blood donors will receive a commemorative Roundup T-shirt and a goody bag.

Susan Williams

Okeechobee Blood Roundup Volunteer

blood donation, Okeechobee Stanford