April 22, 2019
David Cristantello shares his story, in his own words...
After a long period of time (the better part of a year) of declining breathing capacity, it was determined that I had iron deficiency anemia to the point of having an extremely low and dangerous hemoglobin count. I was advised to immediately go to the emergency room, where I was quickly hooked up to an IV for a blood transfusion. It was very scary.
After five days in the hospital, four units of blood, and numerous tests, I was stable enough to go home. The source of the bleeding has never been fully determined, but the suspicion is an arteriovenous malformation of the small intestine (AVM). Another story for another time!
I do believe that these blood transfusions saved my life. The oxygen level in my system was so low that major organ failure was possible, or passing out at the wheel of a car, or some other serious occurrence. I also believe that the blood transfusions aided in sealing the source of the internal bleeding.
Blood donation is a generous and selfless gift. It is not something I ever expected to need, but am most grateful for the availability - something that I think we mostly take for granted. I have not been a blood donor, but once I am fully stabilized I intend to be. My incident has motivated members of my family to either begin or resume blood donations.
It's comforting to know that through organizations like Unyts, we are fortunate to have a safe and readily available blood supply. Thank you to all blood donors, particularly those who have made it a regular routine. It truly is the gift of life.
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