Young mom who nearly died after giving birth to meet blood donors who saved her life
Due to confidentiality laws, most blood donors never know who receives their blood. Similarly, patients never learn the identities of those 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 young mother who nearly died from massive bleeding after giving birth to her premature son will meet seven blood and platelet donors who sustained her life with their generous donations.
Noon–2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31
UCLA Faculty Center (California Room), 480 Charles E. Young Dr. East (map)
The following individuals will participate in the reunion:
Jennifer Calderon (Valencia)
Calderon, 34, will express her gratitude for the 24 units of donated blood, plasma and platelets that preserved her life — and allowed her sons to have their mother. Jennifer suffered uterine hemorrhaging after a high-risk cesarean section at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center last April. Only 5-feet tall, she lost five liters of blood — nearly her entire supply — and was hospitalized at UCLA for two weeks, with two days in intensive care. Jennifer is a partner at the law offices of Gilbert Kelly Crowley and Jennett. Her sons Henry (9 months) and Charlie (3 years); husband, Dustin Schmuldt; and mother, Maria Calderon, will accompany her to Friday's event.
(NOTE: Jennifer, her mother and husband speak fluent Spanish.)
Rich McAndrews (Pacific Palisades), Mary Chuhinko (Malibu), Ricardo Barboza (West Covina) and Linda Hashi (Culver City) are among the seven donors looking forward to giving Jennifer a warm "hello." Ranging in age from 19 to 60, the group hails from throughout the Los Angeles region and spans the spectrum in terms of ethnicity, occupation, religion and gender. Many have given platelets and blood dozens of times, with one donating platelets 80 times.
Dr. Tina Nguyen
Nguyen, a UCLA obstetrician who specializes in high-risk pregnancies, delivered Jennifer's baby and rushed her to the operating room for another surgery to try to stop the bleeding.
Dr. Alyssa Ziman
Ziman, medical director of the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center, will salute the year's top blood and platelet donors and explain why patients treated for cancer, trauma, organ transplants and heart surgery depend on lifesaving transfusions.
Palisades Charter High School
Vice principal Russel Howard and students will be honored for participating in the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center's mentorship program, recruiting new donors and organizing campus blood drives that have collected 875 units since January 2012.
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.