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!

May 24, 2017

Flying High Following a Traumatic Experience

By Kimberly Schmidt, @kimberlyd

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MJ and Amaya accompany their mom, Amber, aboard Mayo One and say "Thank You" to Tim and Tricia.

We say it all the time—Count your blessings.

Scurrying to the top of the Mary Brigh Building to the Mayo helipad, little MJ (age 5) and Amaya (age 2) excitedly accompanied their mother for a tour of the Mayo One helicopter and to meet two of the crew members who saved Amber’s life: Tim Alden, R.N., and Tricia Riggott, Flight Paramedic.

On September 26, 2014, Amber was overdue for the delivery of her little girl, and she was admitted to the hospital at Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing, Minnesota. Following her doctor's decision for an emergency C-section, Amber welcomed a healthy baby girl into the world. But due to further complications, Amber experienced massive bleeding and required an emergency hysterectomy. She lost five liters of blood and was immediately given a blood transfusion. Unfortunately, Amber's body wasn't able to cope with the blood loss. So Mayo Clinic's emergency helicopter, Mayo One, had to transport Amber from Red Wing to nearby Rochester.

While en route, Mayo One's crew transfused two more units of blood and three units of plasma to Amber. When she arrived at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, doctors realized Amber was still bleeding internally. She was rushed into surgery—her second emergency surgery within 12 hours. In all, Amber received thirty units of blood, and her entire body's blood supply was replenished four times.



The staff members of the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program are continually working to raise awareness within our community about the ever-present need for blood products for our patients. We asked the Mayo Clinic Trauma 1 Center staff if they would join us in spreading the word, and they, of course, were all on board.

Having shared Amber's story a few years ago, we thought it would be interesting to catch up with Amber today. Since May is National Trauma Awareness Month, what better time than now.


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“I am truly grateful to everyone who takes the time out of their day to donate blood," says Amber. "They played a huge role in saving my life, and my goal is to return the favor by at least replacing the 30 units that I received.”

Amber also says, “I’m blessed to be here and continue to be a mother to my 'kiddos.' It was an awesome day and experience. MJ and Amaya were able to meet Tim and Tricia, who provided me outstanding care during one of the worst times of my life.”

Schedule an Appointment to Donate Today
Here's how you can schedule an appointment:

  • Call the Blood Donor Center in Rochester at (77)4-4475 (Hilton Building) or (77)5-4359 (Joseph Building).
  • Email

Stay Connected with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center
For up-to-date information about blood-product needs and other ways you can volunteer at the Blood Donor Center in Rochester, visit the Blood Donor Center blog, the Blood Donor Center website, join the center's internal Yammer group, and/or like the center on Facebook.

Liked by Gbenidt

As Amber’s mother I am so thankful for those that gave the blood needed to save Amber’s life. I donated blood for the first time here in Duluth last week and hope to help Amber reach her goal of donating the 30 units of blood used to save her life! Also thankful for the Mayo One crew Tim and Tricia for their care of Amber during her critical flight to the Mayo Hospital in Rochester! Sincerely, A thankful Mom Sandy Johnson

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