When you give blood you give another birthday, another anniversary, another day at the beach, another night under the stars, another talk to a friend, another laugh, another hug, and another chance.
On July 16th, 2010, our son Taylor got just that. My family’s life that day got turned upside down. The day started like any other summer day. Taylor left on his bike to go play ball as I got ready to take our daughters and their friends into St. John’s to spend a day at the park. When I arrived at the park Taylor called telling me he had fell off his bike and bumped his head on a rock. My first question was “Were you wearing your helmet?” Taylor always wore his helmet but that morning he was in a rush and left without it. Taylor then rode his bike home and called again. He said, “Mom my brain is bleeding.” I told him his brain could not have been bleeding. How would he even know that I thought. Other than road rash on his knee Taylor had no other cuts or bleedings. He then went over to his Aunts house which is close by. Taylor then started to become tired. His aunt dropped him off too his grandparents house and by this time his condition was deteriorating rapidly. They then brought Taylor to the Newhook Clinic in Whitbourne. Taylor was quickly seen too by an angel of a doctor; Dr. Patey. Dr. Patey was the doctor on call that day. He was a retired doctor whom took one look at Taylor and knew just how serious his condition was. By this time, I was on my way out over the highway on my way home when I got a call to tell me that Taylor was being brought into the Janeway to get checked out. I then turned around and met the ambulance there. Before Dr. Patey left the clinic, he took the maintenance man’s drill with him. Dr. Patey had to preform an emergency burr hole on the way to the Janeway. Taylor’s brain was bleeding and this released the pressure on the brain but caused Taylor to lose a lot of blood.
I’ll never forget what I saw when they opened the ambulance doors. There was blood everywhere. He was rushed into emergency brain surgery where the repaired the bleed. Taylor was given 6 units of blood that day. This would not have been possible without blood donors. Taylor was in the Janeway for 35 days. He spent two weeks in the ICU. The first week Taylor was heavily sedated for his brain to heal. He had a lot of set backs at first from a collapsed lung to a blood clot in his leg but he kept fighting. During the 35 days Taylor had to learn how to walk, talk, and eat again. It took a lot physiotherapy and occupational therapy but he kept going forward.
This really changed my perspective on blood donation and life in general. I had never taken the time or importance to go give blood. Blood is not something that is manufactured in a plant, it’s something that must be given by people in our community. How can something so important as blood be taken for granted? I have been a blood donor ever since. Our youngest daughter Maddison who was only 10 at the time of Taylor’s accident become a blood donor on her 17th birthday. She has given blood twice so far.
As for Taylor, he graduated from high school with all his friends went on to post secondary where he completed the deck hand course at the Marine Institute in St. John’s and been working ever since. Taylor is now engaged and living in Marystown with his finance Miranda and her son Carter who Taylor considers his own. They are expecting a child in November. Without blood donors Taylor wound never have been given any of these chances.
Giving blood is one of the most satisfying unselfish feelings in the world. How great is to know that you may be saving someone life. There is no substitute for blood it must be given by generous donors in our community.
Just remember when you hear or drive by the next blood donor clinic you are someone’s TYPE and could be the reason someone is still living. Find the hero in you and donate today. I’m glad I did.