Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Two Things I Do

This is where I work!

Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX is a huge complex of hospitals and specialty centers all connected to each other. They are ever growing, about half of these buildings weren't there when I started to work there 30 some years ago. I helped build the tallest building which is called the Roberts Hospital. It is 17 stories of patient floors, ICU's, transplant units, surgery, meeting rooms, etc. I'm quite proud of the fact that I donated a dollar out of my paycheck to help fund this project and had a coffee cup to prove it. The cup had "I'm building Baylor University Medical Center" on it. I used it for years until it broke.

I started to work here back in 1972 in the Transfusion Services Lab making $450.00 a month. Yes, I paid for my apartment and living expenses on that salary. (Mom and Dad paid for my car and insurance thank goodness). Transfusion Service is exactly what the name says. This laboratory prepares and supplies all the blood and blood products patients need in this hospital. I still work in the same department and have seen many tragedies and so many miracles in all those days. Our hospital alone transfuses over 6,000 blood products a month!

That brings me to "One Thing I Do".

I am Blood Drive Chairman for Baylor Health Care Systems 7 hospitals. I also coordinate 4 blood drives a year at my hospital. Getting donors is an extremely difficult task and I applaud the Blood Centers and American Red Cross who deal with this on a daily basis. You are about to be bombarded with lots of facts!

1. I already told you how many blood products my hospital uses a month. Now think about how much the entire Nation uses.

2. Someone needs blood every 12 seconds.

3. 70% of us will need to be transfused in our lifetime.

4. You can give blood every 56 days.

5. You will "NOT" get a disease from giving blood.

6. It's the one charitable thing you can do that does not cost you a penny.

7. I've heard every excuse there is for not giving blood.

I bet most of you know someone close to you who has had to be transfused. I was transfused with 2 units of blood after Molly was born because of post partum bleeding. My mother who is anemic had to be transfused with 2 units last summer. So where does the blood come from? YOU! I don't know who wrote this, but it sums it all up.

What Good Is A Blood Donor?

A blood donor is good for people who go through windshields and red lights. For someone with cancer, hemophilia, or anemia. Or hepatitis. Or ulcers. For people being operated on. For people into feudin and fightin. For people who are almost out of life because they are almost out of blood. For a little girl who doesn't know that leukemia has happened to her. Or why. For a little boy who needs something revved up that wound down. Like energy. For people having open heart surgery. For people who need a blood donor and also an organ donor - a part as well as a pint - a new heart or new liver, a lung or a kidney. For new babies needing new blood. Or new mothers needing a transfusion. For little kids who get into poison or fall onto something sharp. For people who fool around with something that explodes, goes off, bites or shatters. For people burned pretty bad. For daredevils. Tree climbers. For people in the wrong place at the wrong time. A blood donor is good for people who are in a lot worse shape than most people you know. Someone needs a little of your blood a lot!

I am fortunate enough to be able to give blood. When I donate I think about all those patients and miracles I've seen over the years like the young girl (Julie) who survived a torn aorta after a car accident. Her heart stopped for 7 minutes in surgery but survived it with the expertise of a gifted surgeon and lots of blood. The student pilot who was the only survivor of a plane crash. Seeing him that day in the ER I knew I could handle just about anything. A young woman with a liver shattered after a motorcycle crash who married the nurse who took care of her in ICU and paid us a visit later with their new baby. The fireman who was kept alive for 48 hours without a liver being massively transfused with over 300 units of blood waiting for a donor. After his transplant he came in the laboratory to thank us and to autograph his new tennis shoes.
Donating blood is the 2nd thing I do. I feel really good about that!


  1. Thanks for all the information and we are proud of you Kathy for all the work you have done with the getting people to donate their blood. I have donated blood many times here locally with the Red Cross. Great job Kathy!