PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s not often that blood recipients meet the donor that saved their lives. But on Monday, Don Davis got to meet and thank the woman who saved his.
In April 2010, Davis was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, a rare blood disorder. Davis was told his only chance at survival was to find a compatible donor for a stem cell transplant.
“Your immune system shuts down, so I wasn’t producing any blood. So to stay alive, I needed blood transfusions, a lot of them,” said Davis.
A year-long search led Davis to several compatible donors, 100 units of red blood cells and 50 bags of platelets. Those donations ultimately transformed his blood type, his health and his outlook on life.
Davis visited OneBlood’s Palm Harbor Donor Center on Monday and surprised Cindy Redmond, one of the donors who gave him a second chance at life.
“How do you thank someone who saved your life?” said Davis.
Redmond, a Palm Harbor resident, has been donating blood and platelets for almost 30 years in the Tampa Bay area. As of this week, she achieved her 100-gallon donor milestone.
OneBlood celebrated her achievement with a cake and certificate of recognition.
Redmond is now one of less than 250 people who have given 100 gallons or more of blood in the state of Florida since blood banking began during World War II.
“There is always a need out there because there is no artificial blood out there. It’s the one thing you can’t order off of Amazon Prime, so they always need donors,” said Redmond.
If you would like to become a blood donor, you must be 16 or older and weigh at least 110 pounds. To learn more visit oneblood.org or call 888.936.6283