Blood Delivery Gets Personal
Something didn’t seem right to David Ash, Blood Products Services courier for the Blood Institute. Feeling very ill with an elevated blood pressure, he went home from work on March 3, 2012. The next morning, his doctor advised him to go to the Oklahoma Heart Hospital - one of the facilities where David routinely delivers blood. Once there, he learned he was having a heart attack.
Physicians quickly performed an angioplasty to see if stents or a balloon could help, only to find that virtually no blood was flowing through David’s heart. A balloon was inserted and inflated to open the coronary artery and keep him alive until he could have surgery.
On March 6, while waiting for heart bypass surgery, David “coded”. After being revived, he underwent quintuple (x5) bypass surgery. During the surgery, David was given eight units of red cells plus plasma and platelets. David may have delivered the blood that saved his own life. While in surgery, he again coded and needed to be resuscitated. He became affectionately known as ‘the walking dead man’ among his physicians.
After the surgery, David’s life was still in danger. Not only did he suffer from infection in his incision site, but the surgery had not completely corrected his underlying heart arrhythmia. Cardiac conversion was performed and then, a few months later, a pacemaker was implanted.
Today, David is alive and well. He and his wife, Sharon, administrative assistant, Donor Recruitment, understand the importance of their work more than most.
“Thanks to the work of the Blood Institute, prayers from across the country and support from our Blood Institute family, David is back to work and doing well,” said Sharon. “We can never fully express our gratitude for the staff and donors.”
Community Partner Helps Save Thousands of Lives
About 1,400 Airmen at Sheppard Air Force Base signed up to participate in a blood drive at the Wichita Falls base back in August. Texas Blood Institute collected more than 1,000 units of blood, which equates to more than 3,000 lives saved!
The blood drive invited both instructors and students to volunteer to donate blood.
“We appreciate the continued support from Sheppard Air Force Base in their commitment to their community blood supply.
Pictured Above: Airman Basic Marvin Satele, 361st Training Squadron student, gives blood at the Airman in Training Blood Drive at Airman’s Club at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. T. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Vernon Cunningham)