COLUMBUS, Ohio (Feb. 18, 2019) — The community is invited to give blood in memory of Rylea Jane Thompson at a special American Red Cross blood drive held in her memory Tuesday, March 5 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Graham Elementary School in Saint Paris.
Rylea was born Nov. 29, 2018 by emergency C-section eight weeks early after her mother, Shelbey, experienced fetal-maternal hemorrhage. Rylea was bleeding inside her mother. Shelbey knew something was wrong when she became ill and experienced decreased fetal movement. She was rushed to the emergency room where she delivered her daughter. Rylea had very little blood volume at birth and received numerous transfusions in the NICU in an attempt to save her life. She passed away due to complications after one day of life.
Though her life was short, Rylea made a big impact on many people. Her family invites the community to give blood in her memory.
“Rylea had a fighting spirit that allowed our family to be united,” said Ryan Thompson, Rylea’s father.
“You kind of just assume blood is going to be there when you need it,” said Shelbey Thompson. “While I was in the hospital, I felt overwhelming gratitude for each kind soul that chose to donate blood to my beautiful daughter. Blood donors and Rylea’s fighting spirit gave us one precious day with our daughter that we will treasure forever.”
Rylea’s family has set up resources to increase awareness of the importance of blood donations as well as assistance for families who have experienced infant loss, available at livingthelifeofrylea.org.
“There are so many reasons why someone may need blood that we don’t even realize,” said Peter Checkie, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross. “We take for granted that blood will be there at the hospital when we need it, but it can only come from generous volunteer donors. Giving blood in Rylea’s name is a wonderful way to remember her and potentially help others.”
Every two seconds in the United States blood is 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 2,600 hospitals nationwide, including 41 hospitals in Central Ohio.
Donate Blood in memory of Rylea Thompson
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Graham Elementary School
9464 US Highway 36 West, Saint Paris, OH 43072
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org 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.
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.