At 4 a.m. on April 20, 2013, my mom rushed me to the ER. I remember thinking as we pulled up to United Regional that the whole experience was surreal.
When I got to the hospital the doctors said I was hemorrhaging uncontrollably, but they didn’t know why so they hooked me up to an IV, gave me a unit of blood, and started moving me into a room while they ran tests.
I remember being afraid of the needle when I got my first transfusion because I had never had blood drawn before but the pain relief it gave me made the “stick and sting” well worth it.
However, not long after I got to my room my headache became excruciating and I tried to ask for more medicine but I realized I couldn’t hear.
Then suddenly the silence was replaced with a roaring in my ears as my vision blurred and went to black.
I had lost so much blood that my body started shutting down, sending every last ounce of blood I had to my brain. My pulse shot up as my heart tried to circulate what little blood I had left to my whole body, but it couldn’t keep up and I went into hypovolemic shock and cardiac arrest.
After an emergency surgery and two more units of blood, I was on my way to recovery. Two weeks later I was back at school and six weeks after that I was completely recovered. Without someone’s generous gift of blood, I wouldn’t be alive today which is why it has become my mission to promote blood donation.
You never know who will need blood- your parent, boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, sibling- and in their moment of need, you would do anything to save their life.
After the doctors recovered my pulse they wheeled me out to surgery where all my friends and family were waiting for news with tears in their eyes.
The anesthesiologist told me that I would be feeling sleepy soon, and the only thing I could think of was what if I don’t ever wake up? What if that was the last glimpse I would ever have of my loved ones?
Teenagers tend to think they are invincible, which is why I believe it is so important that people not take a single day for granted, you never know when it will be someone’s last.
I also love telling my peers how they can save lives with a simple “stick and a sting”.
Many students at Rider gave blood for the first time at one of our school-run drives and now have given blood over six times in the past year, saving three lives per donation.
To me, that is an amazing contribution that teens can make to our community.
I am so thankful I am able to provide the opportunity to donate blood at our school and inform people how they can impact someone’s life in a simple, selfless way.