December 1st, Wirt County High School welcomed former student Emily Smith to speak about the importance of giving blood and becoming an organ donor.
Emily has been through multiple blood transfusions and even underwent a liver transplant. Emily has had upwards of 40 blood transfusions and will more than likely need many more. She also has a rare lung disease called Pulmonary Hypertension which causes her lungs and heart to work on overdrive. There is about a 50% chance she will need a lung transplant in the future.
Isabelle Pethtel said, “Truthfully, her speech made me feel guilty. I don’t think I’ve ever given blood before, and trust me when I say I don’t want to, but she had a point.” She continued, “I’m terrified, but I’m going through with it anyway. One day I might need blood and I hope someone would be willing to do the same thing.”Reflecting on her speech, Emily stated, “I felt as if the speech I gave was successful. To be able to give students information on such important matters is an honor.” In addition, Emily said, “I’ve seen children and infants who desperately needed these resources, as well as needing them myself. As I said in my speech, less than 5% of the eligible population donates. We need to put priorities first.”
Less than 1 in 10 actually donate blood. Approximately 40,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States. Approximately 1 out of every 7 people entering the hospital needs blood. One donation has the potential to save as many as 3 lives.
A signup sheet for the blood drive went around the room after hearing what Emily had to say, and 36 people signed up to donate. By the power of Emily’s mouth, now lives can be saved. In total, the blood drive had 47 presenting donors and 39 donations with the potential to help up to 136 patients. The outcome of donors was phenomenal!
Mrs. Burns who coordinates the blood drives, said, “Very proud of our student body for giving of themselves during this holiday season. We had a few first time donors, who did an excellent job. Some of you were unable to give for various reasons, but still very proud of you for trying. Please continue to try to donate. Many patients are counting on you to save their lives.”