Kacie Forrest, RN, BSN, works in the Perinatal Special Care Unit at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns.
Pictured: Kacie with her husband, Mike, and their child, in East Africa
Early in Kacie's career, a patient who had a baby via c-section ended up with abdominal bleeding. She needed four units of blood. For Kacie, it was unnerving to see her patient lying there turning yellow while she waited for the blood to arrive. The patient’s husband—a brand new dad—sat helplessly crying, watching his wife fade away. When the blood arrived, Kacie instinctively held up the bag and gave thanks to the person who donated it. It saved her patient’s life.
Fast forward—Kacie was traveling in East Africa for two weeks, shadowing an OBGYN in the Congo. There is no blood bank in the Congo. When someone needs blood, people are asked to donate on the spot. Often, no one can before it’s too late.
“There is something so precious about people giving their blood to others,” said Kacie. “The way we handle this lifesaving product and how we manage supplies in this country—it’s incredible. A bag of blood is more precious than gold.”
These experiences changed Kacie’s perspective on blood. “As the bag of someone else’s blood ran into my patient’s veins I could see the inter-connectedness of blood. It’s a lifeline.”
Kacie’s husband Mike is an avid blood donor. He builds it into his regular schedule.
“He’s always happy when he comes home from donating blood,” she said. “Being in the Congo and seeing how hard it is for them to get blood to people in need was sobering. He wears his blood donation t-shirt with pride and to inspire other people to give. If you can build it into your monthly routine, it’s an easy way to make a huge difference for someone.”
Save a life. Make your appointment to donate blood.