July 6, 2022

RICHMOND, Indiana - July 4th is no holiday at Richmond's Reid Health or any hospital. Everything from auto accidents to fireworks mishaps generally make it one of the ER's busiest days of the year.

Reid remained dedicated to its mission and to Community Blood Center by following a day of no blood collections on July 4with a critical all-day blood drive on July 5. Reid was the only mobile blood drive of the day and was responsible for more than half of CBC's total donations.

Reid topped 102% of collection goal with 100 whole blood donors, 83 donations, plus seven platelet and plasma donors.

The Reid blood drive was crucial to helping CBC meet hospital demand. Type O blood remains in scarce supply as mobile blood drives gradually return to the schedule.

Reid has made it a tradition to host holiday blood drives, including July 4th week and Christmas week. CBC thanked Tuesday's donors with a $10 Meijer gift card.

"It's easy to run down here," said cardiology nurse Pamela Noble. "It helps a lot of us to do it at work instead of having to find drives after work."

"I saw the sign and said, 'OK, I'm going!'" said Reid facilities worker Tony Combs.

Radiology technician Kyera Shelton learned about the blood drives while getting her training at Reid. "I started as a student," she said, "it's been five years now."

"I've got a lot of t-shirts at home," said platelet donor Paul Wesler from Richmond, who with 64 lifetime donations has donated the equivalent of eight gallons of blood.

"I just had back surgery a couple of months ago," said Paul, which temporarily put him off his donation schedule. "I scheduled this a week ago," he said. "I wouldn't do it any other way. One day I'll probably need it."

The former Reid Memorial Hospital Blood Bank first partnered with CBC in 1974. Over the years Reid expanded to six blood drives per year, lengthened the hours, and added platelet and plasma collections.

Reid continued to host blood drives through the COVID-19 pandemic and has been hosting all-day community blood drives on a monthly schedule since 2020.

Ellen Duning is retired after 37 years at Reid and made her milestone 90th donation Tuesday. She donated with her son John Foster, who is in awe of his mom.

"She's had 90 donations!" he said. When his daughter began donating, he decided it was his time to start.

"My daughter went with a group of friends, started at 17 at Richmond High School," he said. "She inspired me."