I hesitated to write this post because it is so personal. But this story has been sitting on my heart recently, and I feel like God is telling me to share it. It is my story of being the recipient of the gift of life, and learning that God and the gift of donated blood are both very real.
Over the course of our triplet pregnancy, our focus was on the boys and their health. At 34weeks, they entered the world with a textbook perfect delivery. We had a NICU team for each baby and doctors lined up against the wall just to witness a triplet birth. We heard their sweet cries, I was able to see each and they were whisked off to the NICU by their teams. All was good.
I was brought back to my room to recover, and for the next few hours, all was well. From this point on, I only know what my husband and doctors told me happened. I was in and and out of consciousness and ultimately required a blood transfusion. My kidneys stopped working. My blood pressure was borderline comatose. By God’s grace, I made it through the night and was brought into emergency surgery when my doctor returned in the morning. I remember being wheeled out of the room and looking at my husband, who was standing helpless by the window.
I remember being on the operating table. I remember my heart was crying out to God. I remember not being lucid enough to pray “real” prayers, but I remember praying constantly asking God to be with me. And the next thing I knew, everything was white. Pure white. Pure light. I was surrounded by God. He was with me. I felt the most beautiful peace and joy I have ever experienced. Words cannot begin to describe the beauty of the experience. I don’t know how close I was to death, but I know that God is real and never left my side.
It turns out I had massive internal bleeding. The incision from my c-section had torn open in multiple places, leaving me with “a million little bleeders”, as we were told. The doctors had found 2.5 liters of blood in my abdomen (the average person has about 5 liters total). I have come to learn that I was VERY lucky to have survived.
(I’ll spare you the photos of what I looked like after all this. Not pretty.)
So what does this have to do with giving? With the blood transfusion and subsequent surgery, a large percentage of the blood in my body was not my own. Strangers selflessly gave blood, not knowing how or if it would ever be used. And it helped save my life. I remember walking down the streets of Boston, looking at everyone, thinking “do I have your blood in me?” I am forever grateful to those who donated their blood to me and helped save my life.
Facts from the Red Cross website:
- Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
- More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
- One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
- More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
- A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
This gift is free. This gift is real.