In 2009, my husband and I anxiously awaited the arrival of our daughter. In the few weeks before my due date, I began to feel uncomfortable - discomfort around my stomach, swelling in my legs, some headaches.... all things I believed to be a normal part of pregnancy. My family doctor nor my OB seemed concerned, so I wasn't. That is, until Easter Day, April 12, 2009. I was dizzy while standing, so while resting, we took my blood pressure - 170/110. I told my husband I thought it would go down if I just rested a while. We tested again - 220/110. We decided to head to the hospital. When we arrived, my blood pressure had come down to 150/95, so they weren't too concerned, the told me they would have me rest a little while and wait for my blood pressure to come down and send me home. It never came down, I was induced, and had my daughter the following morning. She was healthy, we were happy. But I was still feeling unwell.
In the hours following my daughter's birth, I was isolated in a room, not allowed visitors, and wasn't allowed to read, watch tv, talk to anyone, or even hold my baby. The situation had become critical. I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. As they struggled to regulate my blood pressure and other symptoms, I received 7 platelet transfusions. Without the transfusions I would have hemorrhaged and would not have survived. I am so thankful for the donors that made it possible for me to be around for my family. My daughter will be 10 this year, and I am so thankful to be here for that.
To add to my own experience, my father was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in in 2011. During the course of his treatments he received dozens of transfusions that allowed him to carry on with this treatments and have a better quality of life. With every transfusion, you saw his energy level increase. I am so thankful for the extra time those donations allowed us to have with my dad.
To each and every donor that donated to help my dad and I, I'm not sure how I could put in to words how much their donations have meant to me and my family. You gave me extra time with my dad, and gave my daughter her mother. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I am now a donor myself and have had the wonderful opportunity to organize clinics in memory of my dad, and I donate for all of those who need it. I just made my 13th donation last night! My own donations would not have been possible without the transfusions I received.