Blood Recipients Encourage People to Donate Blood

Help eliminate the blood shortage, Join the International Blood Registry.

Every fifteen minutes, somebody dies in a car accident. Each year, 33, 963 people die in car accidents in the USA while 1.2 million people die worldwide. Car accidents are a tragic cause of death, but there are some people who are lucky enough to survive the unexpected twist of fate.

Take Joshua, Scott and Brian’s lives as an example. They are all trauma survivors who almost lost their lives if not for the one thing that kept them alive: a blood transfusion. Each had lost so much blood in separate car accidents, because of the timely blood transfusion, they were given a chance to live again.

Below are their stories on how they went face to face with death, came back to life after being given blood and how they share their lives to the community and give back.

Joshua’s life Saved by blood transfusion after car accident
Julie Butler’s sole priority in life was his son Joshua, but this had changed after an accident almost took her son’s life. In September 2011, his eight-year-old son was hit by a car outside Norristhorpe Junior and Infant School, Liversedge. Joshua received serious head injuries and had to be airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary. The accident was so serious that doctors advised Julie and her husband to prepare for the worst.

Joshua could have died, but thanks to the available blood at the hospital, the young child was given a life saving surgery. After a few days, Joshua recovered and started to gain his strength. If not for the donated blood, Joshua could not have survived such tragic accident. His parents could have lost him, and there wouldn’t have been an additional testimony of how important blood supply is.

"Joshua Butler with her mom, Julie"

Joshua Butler with her mom, Julie

Julie herself witnessed how blood transfusion helped give them back Joshua. From then on, the mother has made it her mission to be in full support to the National Blood Week last June of 2012. She encourages more people to donate blood because nobody knows when you are going to meet an accident, and more often, blood transfusions play an important role in saving people’s lives.

Scott Browder Hosted Blood Drive After Surviving a Fatal Car Crash
Two years ago, Scott Browder almost died in a car crash. The high school student from South Carolina was driving on a 40mph road but he was running about 70 or 75 and his car started to drift. He had no control and went straight ahead to hit a tree on his side. The next thing he knew, he was at the brink of death.

Because of the accident, Scott injured his back, bruised his heart, suffered severe brain injuries and broke every bone in his face. He really shouldn’t have survived such tragic accident, but thanks to the blood transfusion given to him, plus the four months of rehab and prayers from family and friends, Scott is now alive and passionate to share the gift of life to others.

Scott thought he was going to die, but after he survived, the teenage survivor believes that God gave him another chance at life and wants him to do something about it. As a sign of gratitude, the Dutch Fork student asked local residents in their town to give blood on Christmas Eve of 2010 to save other people’s lives as well.

He partnered with American Red Cross in hosting a blood drive at the East Lake Community Church in Irmo, South Carolina and asked people to give a pint to help those who suffered the same fate as his.

Without the blood supply at the hospital where Scott was taken to after the accident, he wouldn’t have survived the car crash. He wouldn’t have realized the value of blood and couldn’t have hosted a blood drive that could benefit a lot of people.

Brian Boyle is now Speaker for Red Cross after 36 pints of blood saved his life
Brian Boyle has competed in ironman competitions, which includes swimming, cycling and running. He is a picture of good health and strong mind. But eight years ago, the then-18 year-old met a car accident that almost claimed his life.

"Brian Boyle"

Brian Boyle

On July 6, 2004, he was driving home to Welcome, Maryland from swim practice when a speeding dump truck rashed the side of his car. Almost all his bones were broken, the force of the collision forced his heart to the other side of his chest, his internal organs were also damaged and his pelvis was pulverized, and because of the injuries he lost 60 percent of blood. He was airlifted to the hospital, doctors who saw him could see that at that time, Brian was closest to death.

Brian died 8 times during his treatment and recovery and was put into a chemical-induced coma which lasted for two months. At one moment, he thought he was going to die. But fate has other plans for this former bodybuilder. Aside from his parents’ love, the thing that helped Brian stay alive were the 36 units of donated blood that was transfused while he was at the hospital.

Miraculously, after several months of being locked in coma, Brian went back to the world of the living and spent weeks at the rehab where he slowly recovered. Because of the gift of his second life, Brian knew he had to make a difference. His story was something the world has to know and he wanted his experiences to inspire other people as well. He is deeply grateful to the 36 people who spent one hour of their time to donate blood that saved his life.

"Iron Heart Book"

Iron Heart Book

Now that he has fully recovered from the accident, Brian has actively participated in Ironman competitions and proved to everyone that his limits are not defined by the injury he had acquired in the past. He is now a volunteer spokesperson of the American Red Cross, where he gives testimonials and speaks about the importance of blood donation. Moreover, Brian sponsors races for blood donations and hosts blood drives too. He also published a book “Iron Heart”, a first-person account book that details his struggles in intensive care and finding the will to finish life’s battle.

Brian knew that if it were not for selfless act of kindness of the 36 unnamed people, he could have succumbed to death. He realized that medical technology and the transfusion procedure means a life can be saved. He is now an active advocate of blood donation and has represented the Red Cross in several Iron Man events.

Joshua, Scott and Brian were inches from death, but the donated blood from anonymous donors gave their body the means to be pulled back to life. Of course, they know the importance of blood donation because they have experienced it themselves. And now that they were given another stake at life, these three guys want to give back to the world what they once took by using their stories to encourage people to donate blood.

We can never tell when we are going to need blood transfusion. We can only hope that in case we need it, there is sufficient blood supply in blood banks and hospitals. But what if there’s none? More people like Joshua, Scott and Brian, who wrestled with death through road accidents, wouldn’t have survived. A pint of blood that we donate could extend other people’s lives. Let’s give the gift of blood now and save more lives!

Help eliminate the blood shortage, Join the International Blood Registry.

References:
Near-fatal accident survivor to run in Boston Marathon; speaks to Dedham Red Cross
Teen Car Accident Survivor Hosts Holiday Blood Drive
Son Joshua’s life saved by a blood transfusion after he was hit by a car
Brian Boyle WordPress
USA Car Accident Statistics

Photos:
IRONMANLIFE: BRIAN BOYLE MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Iron Heart Book

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