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The North Bend Eagle


Family sees positive effects of blood donation

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 2/2/11

Early in her pregnancy, Whitney and Chris Armstrong learned they were having twins and were thrilled. But the roller coaster ride that it took to get the two little guys here was one they did not expect.

ArmstrongsWhitney, Jack, Quin and Chris Armstrong are all smiles after a blood transfusion helped Whitney and her twins survive complications during her pregnancy.

After a diagnosis of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, Whitney had surgery on her placenta Feb. 3, 2010, to help the babies grow more evenly. After the surgery, with a hemoglobin of 8 (normal is 11-12 during pregnancy) Whitney received two units of blood.

“My body was working so hard to recover from the surgery, grow two babies and maintain the pregnancy, it needed that extra boost,” Whitney said. “The blood transfusion helped my babies to get what they needed from me.”

The surgery was a success and two healthy little boys, Jack and Quin, joined the family on June 1.

This was the first time Chris Armstrong was on the receiving end donating blood. He began donating blood while a student at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Armstrong said that his first time was at a homecoming event held in the UNL student union. He has donated 11 units of blood to date.

“I hadn’t thought about it,” Armstrong said. “I’d given plasma once for $40. I realized there’s not much to give blood so I started donating.”

Caryn Moser said it been shown that it takes three times donating to make someone a regular donor.

“It’s important for people to know that it’s not just for cancer or transplant patients or accident victims,” Moser said. “Blood transfusions are needed for a variety of reasons, as Whitney’s experience shows.”

The goal of the Feb. 10 blood drive in North Bend is 87 units. At the last drive, the goal was not met.

“We are hoping that with the cold weather, everyone won’t be so busy and will be able to take time to donate.”

The snow in January caused the ARC to cancel a number of blood drives, lowering their supply. Moser hopes donors in North Bend will take advantage of this opportunity to do their part to increase the supply.

“It makes me feel good,” Chris Armstrong said about donating blood. “I’m doing something nice for someone that takes a small commitment of time and may make a big difference to someone. I know it did for my wife.”

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