A Patient's Story: Ella

Nov 1, 2021 | Kayla Mulhern | @kaylam1

As a nurse, Stephanie Mingus has always known the importance of blood donation. However, it became even more apparent to her when she and her daughter needed the precious gift of blood.

While pregnant with her second child, Ella, Stephanie began to have complications requiring blood transfusions in order to save her pregnancy. After suffering additional complications due to chronic placental abruption, Stephanie went into early labor. Ella was born at 23 weeks gestation, weighing only 1 pound, 3 ounces. Stephanie recalls the doctors saying Ella was so fragile and that they weren’t sure if she would make it. That was a scary realization. During her 142-day stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Ella required many blood transfusions, was intubated for a month and needed oxygen for 9 months.

"Ella had many ups and downs during her first few months of life, but we are happy to say she is a happy and healthy one-year-old," Stephanie says.

Stephanie and her family are big advocates of blood donation. So, when they were approached requesting approval to use Ella as the Blood Donor Program’s featured preemie for 2020, they happily obliged. Each year, The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program hosts the Pints for Preemies Blood Donation Challenge that runs from Sept. 1 – Nov. 17. This fun challenge is in honor of World Prematurity Day on Nov. 17. The goal is simple — to bring in more lifesaving blood donations for a very special cause.

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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