Helping People by Sharing the Gift of Life

by William Mattar | June 21st, 2019

At the principal William Mattar law office in Williamsville, NY, a semi-annual blood drive is held through Unyts. We know that it’s important to donate blood so hospitals and medical centers are ready to help our ill neighbors. We often think of blood transfusions being needed from traumatic accidents and surgeries, but there are many other situations that require blood transfusions as well.

One of our team members would like to share the story of how the generosity of anonymous blood donors helped her father spend a bit more time with his family. Just one single donation has the potential to save up to 3 lives. Not to mention the hope that you are giving their families. If you are able to donate, please consider doing so. We hope that you and your family never need to depend on a transfusion. But if you ever do, we hope the supply is there for you. Here is Maura’s story in her own words:

“In February of 2017 my Father was hospitalized. After monitoring his kidney function for some time, it was determined that he needed to begin dialysis. While I don’t recall the actual events that landed him in the hospital, I do remember that he needed multiple blood transfusions during the time he was hospitalized. When your kidneys don’t function properly, fewer red blood cells are produced, which can create a need for blood transfusions. (This is at least how I remember his need for a transfusion being explained).

Because of those transfusions, my Dad was able to leave the hospital after a couple of days and start his dialysis program. He was given another birthday and another year to celebrate his family’s birthdays. He had another year to attend his grandchildren’s dance recitals, soccer games, and basketball games. And another year to walk his beloved dog and celebrate holidays with family.

A year into his dialysis journey, my father began experiencing medical complications. He was hospitalized in February of 2018. During his month long stay, it was determined that he had pneumonia, a stress induced heart attack, was septic, anemic, and had a perforated intestine, which caused an infection that was resistant to antibiotics.

Shortly after being admitted, it was determined that his blood pressure was low, due to anemia. Again, he required blood transfusions. It was then discovered that he had an 80% blockage to his heart and, despite being in very poor health, he had a stent put in. He bled out and a team of nurses took turns applying pressure for over twelve hours.  More blood was needed.  Medical staff struggled to keep his blood pressure up during his month long stay at the hospital and blood transfusions became a regular thing.

Not long after his stent being put in, still weak from suffering a heart attack, he had emergency surgery for a perforated intestine. He made it out of a 6 hour surgery and came out of his medically induced coma, though we were told this wouldn’t happen. Again, he needed blood. In the weeks that followed, it was determined that his wound from the surgery was not healing, because of his poor health. Ultimately, the combination of all of his ailments were too much to overcome and he chose to discontinue his dialysis and any other medical treatment.

We got an entire year with Dad after his first transfusions in 2017. And though my Dad’s story isn’t like many others, in which transfusions saved him so that he could go on and live many more years, it did give us time, and gave him a chance. We had time together that we wouldn’t have otherwise. Time to plan and time to prepare the best we could. We gained some very precious weeks in which we could say goodbye.

I will be donating blood this June and will any opportunity I can, because I have seen firsthand, just how important this is. I know that it’s not easy for everyone to work up the courage to donate. I also know that not everyone can donate. But if I can share a story and get even one person to change their mind and donate, if they’re able to, there’s a potential for more people to be saved, or at the very least, be given more time.”