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.