A Donor's Story: Su

Mar 1, 2021 | Lauren Brown | @laurenbrown

When Su Spafford began working at Mayo Clinic in 1987, she was asked if she would consider becoming a blood donor. Su embraced the idea, and just like that, blood donation became one of Su’s things that she just does.

In 2005, Su was informed that she would need a knee replacement. She recalls vividly that everything had gone well with the procedure until the first evening after surgery when she realized she wasn’t able to lift her head or maneuver her hands to press the call button for the nurse. As she lay there moaning in pain, an attentive night nurse heard her, recognized her symptoms, and came to her rescue. Su’s hemoglobin levels had become life-threatening, and she needed blood as soon as possible.

When doctors asked Su if she would be willing to receive a blood transfusion, she quickly agreed. Because Su had been such an avid blood donor, she knew that the blood products she would receive would be safe. She also knew that by receiving blood, it would save her life.

Su is with us today because of the precious gift someone was able to give, and others are just as fortunate because Su continues to donate. She also graciously advocates for blood donation to this day. Su told us that we should not wait for a reason to donate. "Others are counting on the everyday people like you and me to help save lives," she says. "After all, you may never know when you might need blood yourself."

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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