‘Giving blood is giving the gift of life’
Christopher Rains still recalls the tragic event that forever changed his life – his vehicle crashed into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 85, leaving his body pinned and his legs crushed. Paramedics rushed him to Spartanburg Medical Center - Church Street, where he underwent surgery and ultimately lost one of his legs.
But he did survive, and today he is thriving, working for North American Rescue, a Greer-based manufacturer of emergency medical equipment. The company distributed the very tourniquet that became one thing that saved his life.
The other thing that saved him? Blood.
Rains lost a lot of blood, but thanks to Spartanburg Regional’s partnership with The Blood Connection, units of blood were rushed to the Level 1 trauma center, and Raines received the transfusion he needed.
Today, he advocates for more people to become blood donors. It’s the message The Blood Connection spreads throughout the year, especially in January – National Blood Donor Month – when donations tend to trail off.
Delisa English, the president and CEO of the Blood Connection, said putting a human face to the issue helps people understand where their donations go and how their small sacrifice can save a life.
“If we can’t sustain the inventory through our donors, then we have problems, and we can’t provide what’s needed for our patients, and providers can’t give the best care they want to give,” English said. “Giving blood is giving the gift of life. Blood cannot be manufactured.”
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System is a community partner with The Blood Connection. All Spartanburg Regional’s hospital campuses utilize blood from The Blood Connection’s headquarters in Piedmont, where blood is tested, handled and stored.
Dr. Alfred Campbell is the medical director for transfusion services for Spartanburg Regional and oversees more than 1,000 transfusions of different blood products every month.
Not just for trauma patients, but patients with cancer, sickle cell anemia and infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit also often need blood, Campbell said.
“Imagine that, heaven forbid, you were required to go to a hospital for some emergent situation, and blood wasn’t available. That would be a very unfortunate situation,” Campbell said. “There aren’t good replacements for blood. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need.”
Campbell spoke during a recent press conference at The Blood Connection’s headquarters in January alongside physicians and leaders from other healthcare systems to push for donations.
Today, consider the impact you make when you use the gift of blood to save a life. The Blood Connection has ongoing blood donation events that can be found at thebloodconnection.org.
Businesses and organizations can also host a blood drive by contacting The Blood Connection at thebloodconnection.org/donors/host-a-drive.