Sammie Purtee has been donating blood for years, but learned firsthand just how crucial blood transfusions can be in an emergency situation.
“Several years ago, multiple blood transfusions played a key role in saving my life,” Sammie said. “I was involved in an accident, and as I was walking away from my initial accident, an SUV lost control and came flying towards me.”
The SUV hit Sammie going over 70 MPH; to make matters worse, she got stuck underneath the vehicle as it continued down the road. Sammie was dragged 60 feet before the SUV finally hit a parked truck and threw her out onto the highway.
“I had many, many injuries, including blood on my brain, bruised lungs, burns from being dragged, seven broken ribs, a compound fracture that took a turn and almost caused me to lose my leg, and lots of other cuts and bruises,” Sammie recalls. “Due to all of the trauma and injuries, I lost a great deal of blood.”
Blood transfusions were critical to saving her life and aiding her on the long road to recovery. During the first couple of weeks after the accident, Sammie received several transfusions to replace the blood she had lost. And as she fought to save her leg over the next 11 months, she received a few more.
The experience gave Sammie, a longtime donor, a new outlook on the importance of donating blood. “I always donated because it just felt like the right thing to do, but I had never thought about being on the other end of a blood donation,” she said. “I can honestly say without all of the transfusions, I wouldn't have made it. Blood donation definitely played an important role in saving my life. I've only been able to donate once (so far), since my accident, but I will continue to try when I have the opportunity, as I know what it is like to be the one needing the blood.”