Living Well: Blood Recipients Say Thank You to Donors Through New Program

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - When you give blood, you know it's going to help save someone's life. But whose?

"It takes courage, it takes time to give blood," says Sandra Hanna, Blood Recipient.

In November, Sandra found out she wasn't producing enough red blood cells.

"It's vital. I didn't realize how vital it was until I started needing it," she says.

She needed blood, two units, to be exact. Sandra went to Baptist Health every 2 to 3 weeks to get a blood transfusion.

"When I start getting really low, I'm tired, I can't um, I can't do much of anything," says Sandra.

Donated blood brought her back to life. It made her feel like herself again. And that's what she told her donor, thanks to a new program called 'Thank the Donor.'

"She just takes off one of these extra barcodes and places it on the thing on the donor card," says Wendy Lincoln, Baptist Health Assistant VP of Patient Care.

The Arkansas Blood Institute is partnering with Baptist Health to make it happen. Wendy Lincoln says it's an easy process. The card is then given to the patient or the families who will then log onto to type up and send their message.

"They wonder, did someone get my blood? Was it useful? Did it just get thrown away? And it didn't," she says.

Patients like Sandra are using blood to survive. She is thrilled 'Thank the Donor' allows her to make sure whoever gave their blood, knows how much it means to her.

"You know it saved my life to be able to get the red blood cells, until we can find out what's wrong with me," says Sandra.

There is always a need for more blood. Sandra hopes this program encourages more people to donate. The program started Feb. 1. Instead of names, special barcodes are used to match the donor so they can remain anonymous.

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