The lines to give blood for victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting stretch, in spirit, from Seattle to Las Vegas.
“It is a gift and everybody has the ability to give it,” said blood donor Elizabeth Jefferson, “I don’t look at it as selfless for my part, I see it as a responsibility that we all have to help each other out.”
It’s important work, year-round, for Bloodworks CEO Dr. James AuBuchon.
“We all have to be ready to have that blood right then, right there, right now. And we always have to have an inventory ready in order to do that,” said Aubuchon.
Here’s what you need to know. Red blood cells are viable for six weeks, platelets five days. Blood banks must stay ready, so they don’t have to get ready during a disaster.
“It’s not a matter of how long the blood will last, it’s how much blood we have on the shelf to send it in times of an emergency,” said Abuchon.
Like the emergency that served as the reason Jefferson gives blood in the first place.
“It saved my life 33 years ago, I was just a kid having a baby,” said Jefferson.
When her son, Ian, was born, Jefferson needed two transfusions to survive the birth.
Three decades later, she gives for those fighting for their lives-in Las Vegas, Houston and Puerto Rico-by providing hope, literally, from her heart.
“Someday you may be, unfortunately, in a position to where you need to receive someone else’s gift. And it will change your mind to how important it really is,” said Jefferson.
Local donors can schedule an appointment at schedule.bloodworksNW.org or by calling 1-800-398-7888. Donors can also can check online at bloodworksnw.org to find dates and times of mobile drives close to where they live or work.