Noah Hollingsworth was born six days after his twin brother Lucas at just 27 weeks. Both boys needed blood. Then, Noah was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect requiring open-heart surgery. Around the same time, Lori Hollingsworth, the twins’ mother, had a bleeding episode that required transfusions.
Within a month, all three family members needed blood.
“Because of the blood components on hand, they saved our family,” said Lori Hollingsworth, adding her husband, Andy, has long been a blood donor. “One donation can save up to three lives, and without voluntary donors, there will not be enough blood to replenish what is used.”
Noah and Lucas are now 9 years old, and Noah is preparing to undergo another open-heart surgery in which he will require blood transfusions on Nov. 17. The Hollingsworths have partnered with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center to host a blood drive in Noah’s honor through Nov. 16 to raise awareness about the importance of blood donation.
To participate, schedule a donation at any Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center location, and be sure to credit the group “VDAF” when you arrive to give blood.
Additionally, as blood collections have declined across the country, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center asks members of the Houston and surrounding communities to donate regularly to help maintain a strong blood supply. The impact of COVID-19 as flu season approaches causes further challenges in maintaining a readily available blood supply for patients in need of lifesaving treatments this fall and winter.
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The COVID-19 antibody test will detect if a donor’s immune system has responded to the virus by producing antibodies. The organization will invite donors who test positive for the antibodies to return and give plasma to help patients in local hospitals fight the virus.
Hospital patients and their families remain grateful to the heroic volunteers who selflessly give blood during this pandemic. While there are many uncertainties about the months ahead, one thing that remains constant is the need for blood. Blood collection organizations adhere to the highest safety and infection control standards, and donors are needed to help save lives.