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Red Cross Honors Putnam Co. Newborn

Tennessee Valley

July 7, 2014

Red Cross Holds Blood Drive Honoring the Life of William Ray


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 7, 2014) —The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive in memory of William Fredrick Ray on what would be his 8th birthday, July 21st.  The drive will be held at UBS Financial Services Inc. located at 115 N. Washington Avenue in Cookeville from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Will was born on July 21, 2006. By all appearances, he was a healthy, 8-pound, 14-ounce baby boy. The Ray family was thrilled to have a son in addition to their two daughters.


Two days after Will’s birth, his lower body turned a shade of gray. A doctor told Will’s mother, Amy Ray that something was seriously wrong. Will was whisked to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. After days of testing, a team of specialists determined Will’s heart was not functioning properly and they needed to perform a heart surgery referred to as the Norwood Procedure. During surgery, Will required units of blood. Unfortunately, Will experienced complications and his organs began failing. He passed away on August 1, 2006.


The Ray family is sharing Will’s story to honor his life and raise awareness about the need for blood donations to help other children and families in our local hospitals. “We would like to celebrate his short life on his birthday by giving blood and encouraging others in the community to give as well,” said Amy Ray. “It just seems fitting that we give back in this way, in his memory.”   


To schedule an appointment for this blood drive or any other American Red Cross blood drive, call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767) or visit If you are interested in giving at this blood drive in particular, when you visit enter the sponsor code: UBSCookeville


The American Red Cross is in urgent need of all blood types. The Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region serves 58 hospitals and must have approximately 500 people donate blood or platelets each weekday to meet the needs of hospital patients. 

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.