A Blood Recipient's Story: Kristie

Sep 25, 2019 | Katy Maeder | @katymaeder

Kristie Kinneberg

Kristie, age 12 at the time, was in a car with her sister, a friend, and their friends mother at the wheel. As the mother pulled away from a stoplight, a speeding car T-boned them. Though wearing a seatbelt, Kristie was suddenly jolted forward, then slammed back into her seat. Her friend and the mother were okay, but Kristie's sister suffered a concussion and needed stitches over her left.

Kristie felt generally fine, but as the firefighter on the scene kept asking her questions, Kristie told him about a cramp in her side. It turned out her spleen was damaged, causing internal bleeding. "If it wouldn’t have been for that firefighter who questioned me after the ambulance left, I probably would’ve just gone home and gone to sleep," says Kristie. "He saved my life."

By the time Kristie arrived at the emergency room, she’d already lost about one-fifth of her body’s blood, and during her stay in the hospital, she received several units of blood.

Years later, when Kristie was 17, the American Red Cross hosted a mobile blood drive at her high school. "I remembered my accident and how donated blood saved my life," she says. "I know how precious that gift is, so I was determined to give that gift back."

Now 30, Kristie is a high school teacher. She continues to give blood via Mayo Clinic’s Blood Donor Program. "Not only am I a blood donor, but when the blood drive comes to our school, I’m a strong advocate for blood donation with my students," she says.

To read more stories like this go to Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program's Blog Page.

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email donateblood@mayo.edu. Or visit our webpage http://www.mayoclinic.org/donateblood.

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