How blood donors save the life of a new mom

Posted at: 09/27/2013 5:57 PM
Updated at: 09/27/2013 6:52 PM
By: Benita Zahn

When Amy Gough was carrying her second child, 2 and a half year old Courtney, she sailed through the pregnancy.

Only 29 at the time, the Scotia woman was focused on getting ready for the baby's arrival. And then, just before her delivery date everything changed and Amy's life was in the balance.

"Well I came down with a stomach bug the day before I was due," Amy explains.

That landed her in the hospital. Then the baby's heartbeat dropped and doctors couldn't get it back to normal. So an emergency c-section was done. The baby girl was born healthy.But Amy's world began crashing. Her uterus wouldn't contract as is normal post delivery and she started hemorrhaging.

"I was bleeding out as quickly as they were putting blood in," says Amy. "So basically they were just replenishing the blood that was coming out."

"So they replenished basically my entire blood supply."

Even when they got the bleeding under control she wasn't out of the woods. Fluid build up caused respiratory failure and she needed to be intubated.

"I was thinking about my older son. I was thinking about the baby that I had just had and I was thinking, am I gonna see these children again. "

Thanks to good care and an adequate blood supply this story has a happy ending.

But Amy was changed.

Before her harrowing experience she always thought, if a loved one needed blood she'd donate, then.

Amy says, " My perspective is there's no time for that. It has to be in advance. I'm O-negative blood type. O negative blood type can only receive o-neg blood type because of that. I was relying on the people who had given before.  And so it's so important to give regularly and to give before the urgent need. "

You can donate blood on Sept 30 at our Save a Life Blood drive. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment.