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“Without the people who took time to donate blood, I would have died after childbirth. I owe them everything.” Quote from Chandra, a blood donation recipient.

As a nurse, I knew that giving blood was really important. But once I was on the other side of the experience and needed it myself, I gained a whole new passion for donating.

My first two births were fine, but after my third, I started to hemorrhage

Labor and delivery has always been my passion during my nursing career, and I’ve seen firsthand how women’s lives have been saved by blood transfusions. But I didn’t expect to experience a transfusion firsthand. My first two births were fine, but about two hours after giving birth to my third child, I started to hemorrhage. After I lost three liters of blood, it was clear that I needed transfusions.

Without those transfusions, I wouldn’t be here

I ultimately received eight units of blood and blood products. And since I gave birth in mid-December, this meant there were eight people who took time out of one of the busiest times of year—the holiday season—to donate that blood. Because of them, I got to go home and be with my newborn and two other kids for Christmas. They’re now 11, 10, and 3 years old, and I still get emotional thinking about those blood donors.

I am so grateful my children have a mother

I am so grateful that I get to be here, that my children have a mother, and that I get to experience the life that I have. My husband and I talked a lot about this in the days following my transfusions—about how difficult it would have been for him to parent our children alone.

I donate twice a year to pay back the people who gave me blood

I not only donate blood on my son’s birthday every year, which is the anniversary of my transfusions, but I donate on my birthday as well. Blood donors saved my life, and I want to do the same for others.

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