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A near-death experience prompts woman to highlight importance of donating blood

blood drive blood donations AP
Posted at 4:10 AM, Aug 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 09:07:52-04

A near-death experience has prompted a Cal Poly grad to highlight the importance of donating blood.

Blood donation recipient Laura Jagels said, It took 60 bags of blood for me to survive those first few days. The individual sacrifices they made make it such that I can be here today.”

in 2018, Jagels was visiting family in Montana, celebrating her graduation from Cal Poly before starting her first post-college job.

There - her life changed in the blink of an eye - when she got into a horrific motorcycle crash - that nearly claimed her life.

She remembers swerving to avoid hitting a distracted driver on the road.

“In an attempt not to hit her broadside - which would have killed me, I swerved. In swerving, I tore off the front part of her truck, and her truck tore off the majority of my leg,” said Jagels.

She was airlifted to a hospital - where doctors worked tirelessly to save her.

Jagels said, “I would have not survived those first few hours if it had not been for those doctors, but I would not have survived those first few moments if were not for all those people who donated blood.”

For Jagels, it’s a tough - but necessary - memory to share.

Blood donation organization, Vitalant, is currently facing a critical blood shortage and is calling on the community for help.

Laura Kamada, Vitalant's Senior Account Manager explains, “Normally we life to have at least 4 days worth of blood supply on the shelves. And during the summer, we were maybe able to get have of that blood supply.”

The pandemic isn’t the only thing to blame for the short supply.

Kamada says many people have great intentions - but often don’t make it in.

“People aren’t donating. People are out and about. People aren’t showing up to their appointments. We are seeing about 10-12 no-shows for a lot of our blood drives,” said Kamada.

Jagels hopes by sharing her emotional story, people will see how life-changing a donation can be.

“It's not easy, but I get to be here today - and enjoy life. I’ve got a wonderful family, job and husband. I would not have had that otherwise,” said Jagels.

This Wednesday, August 31, Vitalant will hold a blood drive at KSBY located at 1772 Calle Joaquin and at Santa Maria Vitalant Donation Center at 1770 South Broadway in Santa Maria from 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

To make an appointment, click HERE.