Teen to meet 11 strangers who saved his life by donating blood, platelets

Media Contact

Elaine Schmidt
(310) 794-2272
WHAT:
Due to confidentiality laws, most blood donors never know who receives their blood. Similarly, patients never learn the identities of the people who donated their time and blood to save their lives. But a rare reunion organized by the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center will change that. A teenage boy who underwent a heart transplant at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital will meet 11 blood and platelet donors who sustained his life with their generous donations. 
 
WHO:
 
RECIPIENT
 
Donovan Ho
Ho, 17, of Orange, Calif., will express his gratitude for the 72 units of donated blood, plasma and platelets that helped make his 2010 organ transplant successful after his heart failed. Accompanied by his 10-year-old brother, parents, grandparents and great-grandmother, he'll also encourage more people to donate blood and platelets for patients requiring lifesaving transfusions due to organ transplants, cancer, trauma and heart surgery.
 
 
DONORS
 
Tony Kostas, of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Ross Carmichael, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., are among the 11 donors looking forward to giving Donovan a warm hello. Ranging in age from 19 to 75, the donors hail from throughout the Los Angeles region and span the spectrum in terms of ethnicity, religion, gender and occupation. Many have given platelets and blood hundreds of times, with one man donating 145 times since 1987.
 
 
UCLA DOCTORS
 
Alejos, medical director of the pediatric heart transplant program at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, will explain why organ recipients require so many transfusions of blood and platelets.  
 
Ziman, medical director of the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center, will salute the year's top blood and platelet donors and describe how many people's lives they saved.   
 
 
BANNING HIGH SCHOOL
 
Robert Lopez, principal of Banning High School in Wilmington, Calif., and students will be honored for collecting nearly 5,000 units of blood for patients at UCLA blood drives held on the Banning campus since 2001.
 
 
WHEN:
Noon–2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 27  
 
WHERE:
UCLA Faculty Center (California Room), 480 Charles E. Young Drive East (map
 
INFORMATION:
To donate blood or platelets, a person must be 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health, not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs within 48 hours of donation, and be willing to allow one hour for donating blood or two hours for donating platelets. To schedule a donation, contact [email protected] or 310-825-0888, ext. 2.
 
MEDIA CONTACT:
Elaine Schmidt | [email protected] | 310-794-2272 
 
MEDIA PARKING:
To reserve complimentary parking in UCLA's Lot 2 (Westholme Avenue and Young Drive), call the media contact by 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 27. Parking for oversized vans must be arranged in advance. 
Media Contact:
Elaine Schmidt
(310) 794-2272
[email protected]