RICHMOND — Reid Health never sleeps. Patient care continues non-stop through holiday time, and the same dedication continues for Reid’s blood drives. The fuse was burning on the eve of Independence Day celebrations as donors calmly filled the beds July 3 for the community blood drive in Lingle Hall.
Reid hosts six blood drives a year with Community Blood Center. In May of 2017 the Reid Health blood drive expanded hours to a 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. schedule to accommodate more community members. In May of 2018 CBC began using apheresis machines at Reid for platelet and plasma donations.
Reid Health President and CEO Craig Kinyon has been a frequent whole blood donor at the Reid Health blood drives. He made his first plasma donation when Reid began apheresis in May and was back donating plasma again at Tuesday’s blood drive before July 4th. He said giving blood can be called patriotic.
“Absolutely,” he said. “It’s part of being another person in our country supporting other people. You never know when you’re going to need blood. It could be you, your family a next door neighbor or people you work with.”
Reid Memorial Hospital began its blood service partnership with CBC on Feb. 10, 1974. Over the years Reid Health has been a welcoming home base for CBC. Director of Laboratory Services Chuck McGill has served as blood drive coordinator for more than 30 years and staff members regularly juggle their shifts to donate.
“It ties into with what we do here as far as patient care,” said Craig Kinyon. “Blood is very important and lifesaving. If not us then who? We have to walk the talk and help every patient, including what we can do personally.”
Neighborhood Health Center staff member Rylie Joy has been at Reid a month and made her first Reid blood drive donation Tuesday. “I just enjoy getting to donate when I can,” she said, “and with the holiday there is a real need for blood.”
Community members have embraced the Reid blood drive schedule. Family members Linda Pease, Kathy Wagner and Diana Glunt come from different towns to donate together at Reid. “We go out to eat lunch first then we come here,” said Diana.
Evan Collinsworth from Richmond is inspired to donate because blood transfusions have helped his wife survive both a serious anemic condition and lymphoma. “That got me sticking to it,” said Evan. “When it hits close to home you pick it up and run. I’m doubly blessed and that makes it easy to come here.”
Reid blood drives draw the support of loyal donors like Gary DeLucio, who made his milestone 100th lifetime donation Tuesday, and Eric Marshall who made his 150th.
“Patriotic? Absolutely,” said Gary. “It helps other people and it’s the right thing to do. I’ve known so many people who have needed blood transfusion. I know I’m helping them out. Not everyone can donate but the fact that I can makes it important to get out and donate.”
Eric Marshall started donating blood while in the Navy. He lost his wife Joey five years ago. “She was my ‘pen pal’ when I was in Vietnam,” he said. “I wasn’t getting any mail, so one of my friends asked her if she would write me. We were married 41 years.”
Eric could think of no better way of honoring Independence Day than with his 150th lifetime donation. “I try to help people,” he said. “I always have.”
Learn more at www.GivingBlood.org