“It moved through my nursing home,” Jan Greenwood Markle a blood donor, “We kept it out for months and then it got us and we lost quite a few people.”
Greenwood Markle is not only a health care worker and blood donor -- but a Covid-19 survivor. And the 44News Thanksgiving Blood Drive on Monday, Nov. 23rd was the perfect opportunity to see if she is able to donate her plasma.
“And if my plasma can help someone get over it quicker -- than that’s what I want to do -- as many times as I can take it,” Greenwood Markle said.
While other donors -- understanding there is still a dire need for blood -- especially as the third wave of Covid-19 hits the tri-state and flu season picks up -- were happy to brace the early morning cold
“I heard last week they were short on blood so it was one of the things I thought we could in the community is come out and donate some blood,” said Scott Schoenike said.
Now usually, the Southwest chapter of the American Red Cross does not host blood drives at their Stockwell location. Unless it’s before a big holiday, like the 44news Give Thanks, Give Life Blood Drive, but with twenty six blood drives already cancelled for the first quarter of 2021 -- they’ve had to open their doors more than they normally would.
“As this uptick of Covid cases has came through just recently and we really need folks to understand that we are essential," said Ashley Hughes, district manager for donor recruitment. "Our government backs us up. They want us to be able to do blood drivers because they recognize that blood is essential, it’s an essential services and our donors are essential workers when they donate that gift of blood. We do need large spaces -- things like that."
And with hospitals resuming more surgical procedures -- people who haven’t donated are encouraged to do so for the first time.
“We always have a need,” said David Mangia, volunteer. “The shelf life only has 42 days so we need to have it to help the people who need the blood.”
The American Red Cross is also doing antibody testing for donors up until March 2021.