"Paying It Forward"



Glendora, CA
January 18, 2013
For those of you that fear the "stick of a needle". I was one of you at one time. I was a construction worker for nearly 25 years. On Jan. 25, 2005 my life and my outlook on life changed dramatically. I accidentally stepped off of a two story roof top in downtown L.A. I fell 28 feet to the concrete below, nearly killing myself. I was on the job site, all by myself, and locked inside of the business wrought iron fencing. Nobody had seen me fall. I was going in and out of consciousness. I did a body check, while I lay there, in my confusion. I felt no pain, so I attempted to get up. My left arm appeared to be broken. Eventually, a day worker (my guardian angel) walked by and saw me. I pointed to the roof top above me as I lay there on my back. He continued to walk on. My thoughts sank, thinking that my rescuer had ignored my plea for help. Once again, I blacked out. In my darkness I heard someone yell out, "Call 911!" I came to when I heard the approaching emergency vehicles. I raised my head to see a fire fighter climbing up the outside of the fence. Soon after I blacked out again. I had 9 hours of emergency surgery, done on me, to save my life and my leg. I had shattered and broke my left elbow, broke my right fibula, shattered both knees, broke my left femur, and cracked some ribs. Doctors did an emergency procedure to save the lower part of my right leg. I had what is called "compartment syndrome." This is when the extremity doesn't get blood flow to the body part. Luckily, and apparently, my body fell perfectly straight up and down. Saving my head from being cracked open by the concrete. I was told that I used 6 units of blood during my emergency procedures. I went through 2 months of hospitalization and 4 months of inpatient rehab to learn how to walk and use my arm again. It has been 8 years since my fall. I have recovered well. Although, I am still continuing to heal. This is where that "little stick of the needle" comes into play. As I was recovering, I thought about the 6 units of blood that I had used in my E.R. visit. I was so grateful to the people that saved my life and my leg. This was the turning point, for me, to give back to those that gave to me. I like to think of it as "paying it forward." Once I was able to give blood, it has become such a rewarding symbol of love for mankind, that I have continued to give as often as permitted by law. I am 0 negative blood type. The nurses at the Red Cross let me know that my blood type saves babies. This makes me an even happier person knowing that my blood is giving these babies a fair chance at life. If it wasn't for people giving blood, I would not have been given the chance to live either. Giving blood is such a rewarding gift that anybody can give. Your body makes new blood daily. It's a "well" of life. I look forward to giving every 6 weeks, making appointments for my next visit on the day that I am giving. It's not as bad as you think. That little sting of the needle only lasts for a second or two. The life that you save lasts for many, many, years. The life that I save could be yours or someone that you know. Don't wait until your life depends on it. "Pay it forward, now! Our blood banks are constantly needing to be replenished. Some types of blood are literally hours or days away from running out. Your one unit of blood could be the difference between life or death. Please give the gift of life. Give blood today! That's my story. Thank you to everybody who is "Paying it forward." God bless. Darryl