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A blood donor's story

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Family is everyone to Tina Dunphey. Her second little boy, Phil, is a constant reminder of how everything almost changed June 3rd, 2015.

"I went in for a repeat C-section. During the pregnancy he never stayed in one spot. He was constantly flipping around," says Dunphey.

After the routine C-section, Dunphey's blood pressure dropped drastically. She was rushed to the operating room and doctors realized she was hemorrhaging.

"They had to do an emergency hysterectomy, and I was in ICU for three days," says Dunphey.

While she was in the ICU at Munson Medical Center, Dunphey was hooked up to fluids and a blood bag.

"I thought 'Oh I must not be doing so well if that's there.' Even at one point a couple nurses came in to check the bag," says Dunphey.

It was the blood that helped save Dunphey's life.

"I received seven bags of blood, plus an extra bag of platelets to help start patching things up," says Dunphey.

Now two years later, she and her husband are hosting blood drives through Michigan Blood. They know firsthand how blood donations save lives.

"Every day people need transfusions in the hospital so that's our goal with a blood bank is to enable that to happen safely, efficiently and when people need it," says William Kanner, a pathologist with Grand Traverse Pathology at Munson Medical Center.

Kanner along with other pathology staff make sure blood is ready when patients need it.

"It's not always just red blood cells that are transferred. We have plasma and platelets. On an average day we do about 20 units of red blood cell transfusions. We transfer every seven-thousand units of red cells a year," says Kanner.

Kanner says since everyone has a different blood type, the supply is limited.

"It's all based on what donors can provide. We get our blood from Michigan Blood down in Grand Rapids. It's not uncommon to have shortages. O-negative is universal donor. That's the blood we can issue in an emergency transfusion," says Kanner.

That's why if you're eligible to donate you could directly be helping someone just like Tina Dunphey.

"When you donate they separate blood: red, plasma and platelets. Plasma typically lasts longest because it's frozen, typically a year or more. Platelets have the shortest life span at least five days because we have to keep them at warmer temperatures," says Kanner.

"I'm very thankful to every single person who donated because it literally saved my life. They saved a mom and a wife," says Dunphey.

The Dunphey's are hosting their next blood drive through Michigan Blood March 24th from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Empire Township Hall in Leelanau County.

For more information about the blood drive you can contact, Tina Dunphey at (231) 835-0518.

For a direct link to Michigan Blood, click here.

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