Amber Page was 24 weeks pregnant when she went for a walk to enjoy the spring weather. “I was feeling great, and very excited to welcome a baby,” she says. What Amber didn’t expect was her water breaking, immediately sending her to the hospital. She made it four more weeks before giving birth to her son, Jacob Jr. “We were very excited when he was born, to welcome our baby boy,” dad Jacob Sr. says.
But soon, little Jacob Jr. was in a fight for his life. He developed necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease where bacteria eats away at the intestines, destroying the tissue. From July to September, Jacob Jr. had three major stomach surgeries and received five units of red blood cells and six units of platelets to help keep his little body strong.
“There were times where we didn’t know if he was going to make it out of this situation, and his diagnosis was pretty bleak,” Jacob Sr. says. “But knowing that the blood products were there to help him pull through during those bleakest of times really was a great feeling.”
After 119 days, little Jacob was released from the NICU and finally cleared to go home. Since then, Jacob Sr., who has worked for Versiti since 2014, has a new appreciation for blood donors. “After going through this, you view the donors differently,” he says. “The appreciation you have for them is something that words don’t describe. The work we do here at Versiti is some of the most important that you’ve ever heard of. It’s very rewarding. It definitely gave me more conviction for our mission and what we do.”
Today, Jacob Jr. is thriving and enjoys running and playing with his younger siblings. Though he doesn’t remember his ordeal, he’s still grateful. “Thank you for helping me!” he says.
People need people, make a difference in someone’s life by donating blood.
We must rely on each other for the gift of blood, and patients in your community rely on the generosity of Versiti’s blood donors to help. Please consider scheduling an appointment to donate. If this is your first time, donating blood is quick, easy and relatively painless. And, it is a great way to give back and help patients in your community.