Blood Donor Program

This group is for people interested in blood donation. Every six minutes, a patient at Mayo Clinic needs a transfusion of blood or blood products. A simple blood donation can save the life of a child with leukemia, restore the strength of a cancer patient, or provide a critical transfusion to an accident victim. There is no substitute for this lifesaving gift, so patients rely upon the caring spirit of blood donors. Join the discussion and learn more about blood donation!

Jul 18, 2018

A Blood Recipient's Story: Kathy

By Katy Maeder, @katymaeder

Kathy and Hanna blog size 7

Pregnant with her second child, Kathy returned home after a family gathering and noticed something wasn’t right. Her husband Mike called Mayo Clinic, and he was told to bring her in right away. Because Kathy was considered high risk, she spent the next seven weeks in a hospital bed on the Labor and Delivery floor so she could be closely monitored.

After those seven weeks, Kathy was induced into labor. Unfortunately, she suffered from placenta accreta, a condition that occurs when blood vessels and other parts of the placenta grow too deeply into the uterine wall. The condition caused severe blood loss, requiring her medical team to perform an emergency cesarean hysterectomy.

"They had to remove my uterus in order to save my life," she says. The many units of donated blood and plasma that Kathy was given also helped save her life.

Baby Hanna was born at 32 weeks. She was tiny, but healthy. Kathy credits their survival to the power of love, her faith, her family, her health care team, and all of the donated blood she received. When Hanna turned 16 last year, she started donating blood (as did her older brother Brady) to perhaps save another mother in need as their own mother was saved.

"I can’t think of a greater gift than blood," says Kathy. "Blood cannot be manufactured; it takes donors to fulfill the blood supply need for patients who desperately require it. For those wondering if they are making a difference by donating blood, I hope they think of our story." Kathy and Hanna are living proof that blood donations can save lives.

To read more stories like this, visit the 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 Or visit our web page

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