Man recounts how blood donations saved his son's life

Despite the donation shortage this time of year, the need doesn't change

Minot, ND - United Blood Services covers 109 hospitals in the midwest region.

That includes all of North Dakota, northern South Dakota, western Minnesota and parts of Montana.

550 donors are needed each and every day of the week to sufficiently serve hospitals in the area.

That's almost 4,000 donors a week.

"Our donations definitely do drop off during the holiday season," Teresa Johnson at United Blood Services said.

She said 80 percent of the U.S. population will use a blood donation in their lifetime.

During the holidays, that number doesn't change.

 "Although our numbers do decrease in donations, still people are diagnosed with cancer," Johnson said.

"We still have trauma victims, babies still come early, moms still need blood product after childbirth, people still have heart attacks. So, the need is there."

For Mitch Meyer, his now two-year-old son Declan was a part of that need.

"Our son had cranial synostosis and it's a condition where the sutures in his head fused earlier than they should be, so he didn't have any soft spots for his head to shape like a healthy child's head would," Meyer explained.

Throughout his reconstructive surgery, Declan had four blood transfusions and one more right after.

"It was a pretty scary thing to see when your child is laying in a bed and he's completely white because his red blood cell count was so low. It really hits home when it's somebody you know and especially your own child," Meyer said.

That's why he donates as often as he can and encourages his students at South Prairie School to do the same.

He said, "Somebody else's selfless act saved my son's life. Because without blood, he would have never survived."

"It doesn't hurt, and you barely know the needle is there. It's also better just to look forward at the fact that you're helping people," South Prairie High School senior Gabby Connell said.


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