KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 4, 2019) — The American Red Cross is joining family and friends to host a blood drive in honor of Meghan and Sullivan Jolliffe Friday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, 12200 W. 106th St., in Overland Park.
In February 2018, Meghan suffered an amniotic fluid embolism also known as AFE. During childbirth her heart stopped beating for 14 minutes resulting in the need for an emergency C-section. Her organs began to shut down and her blood would not clot. Meghan received nearly 100 units of blood within a seven-hour period during her procedures. The doctors were able to stop the bleeding and stabilize Meghan’s condition. Over the next several days, Meghan underwent five surgeries, dialysis and more to repair the damage to her body.
Meanwhile, after Sullivan was delivered, he went without oxygen for seven minutes. Doctors performed a process called therapeutic hypothermia, or whole body cooling, to preserve his neuro function. Sullivan also received several units of blood.
After a two-week stay, Sullivan was released from Overland Park Regional Medical Center while Meghan was released the following week. All total, Meghan and Sullivan received 109 units of lifesaving blood.
“My family and I are forever grateful for the generosity of Red Cross volunteer blood donors,” said Meghan. “In addition to the importance of donating blood, we want to bring more awareness to AFE. I am also very excited to be able to donate blood for the first time since the complications and procedures. There really is no other way I can pay this forward than to donate and host a blood drive to help other patients in need.”
Every two seconds in the United States blood and platelets are needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide.
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org and use sponsor code OPRMC or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
Since 1914, the American Red Cross has served the Greater Kansas City area by preventing and alleviating human suffering. Today the Red Cross provides blood products and specialized laboratory services to 15 hospitals in the Greater Kansas City area, including those within the St. Luke’s System and HCA Midwest Health. The Red Cross is the only blood services provider that also offers health and safety training, serves as a vital communication link between military personnel and their families, teaches disaster preparedness, and provides relief to victims of disasters for our community.
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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.