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“This could happen to any woman, and blood transfusions pulled me through.” Quote from Ariana, a blood donation recipient.

If my internal hemorrhaging happened 150 years ago, I wouldn’t be here. The people who donated the blood I was given had no idea it would go to me, but I’m so grateful.

I had a lot of internal bleeding that just wasn’t stopping

I’m an avid hiker and surfer and had always been healthy, but about a year ago I suddenly had really bad abdominal pains that wouldn’t go away. After 4 hours I called my parents, who are both doctors, and they told me to go to the emergency room.

The ER doctors thought it was appendicitis at first, but as soon as I stood up to walk, I fainted, which made it seem like something else. So, they ran tests and discovered I had a lot of internal bleeding that just wasn’t stopping. That was terrifying to find out. My dad—who lived in another city—booked a flight to come to the hospital, which I knew wasn’t a good sign.

Without blood transfusions, I wouldn’t be here

I was at a small hospital, so I was given blood transfusions to stabilize me enough for transport to a larger hospital that had the capability to do my surgery. But my body responded so well to them that I didn’t end up even needing the surgery!

Afterward, it made me wonder what would have happened if there had been a blood shortage. That thought is just mind-boggling, as I probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those transfusions.

I know I have to pay this forward

I gave blood before this happened, but now I donate regularly to pay it forward. Plus, seeing the impact firsthand has motivated me to ask friends to come with me to give blood. I want every donor to know how selfless they are. I also want to thank everyone who gives blood for choosing to take the time to help someone else, even though they don’t know who it will be.

Arianna hiking.

“Thank you so much for choosing to give blood, choosing to take your time, choosing to go through this process and help someone. It’s so selfless and you can't even know the impact that you have.”

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