Employee & Community Health

Blood donation: Robyn's story underscores need

11/5/2018 by Katy Maeder, Donor Services

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It was 1995, late February. Robyn was driving to work when she was rear-ended by another driver. She was okay, but when an officer arrived on the scene, and Robyn got out of her vehicle, a second car struck her, throwing Robyn into the vehicle parked behind hers.

“When the second driver tried to back up, my left leg got caught on his license plate, and I was dragged 10 feet,” says Robyn.

She ended up with two broken legs and a hairline fracture of her pelvis. She was also six months pregnant, which meant she couldn’t take pain medication until the hospital could monitor her baby’s condition. Over the next three days, Robyn had three surgeries at Mayo Clinic.

Two months later, Robyn gave birth —while in traction — to a healthy baby boy.

Over the next 20 years, Robyn underwent multiple surgeries and received approximately 15 units of blood. She’s still undergoing skin grafts because of the damage and is recovering from a left knee replacement, also a result of the accident.

Though more surgeries lay ahead, Robyn feels grateful. “Without the generous blood donors, there would not have been blood available for me or my son,” she says. “I am very, very lucky.”

Robyn donated her own blood for the first time in June — after donor guidelines changed to allow people who have received blood transfusions to donate.

To read more stories like this, visit the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program’s blog

Here are ways you can be involved in blood donation:

  • Donate blood. For more information about donating blood in Rochester, call (507) 284-4475, send an email to donateblood@mayo.edu, or visit Mayo’s blood donation webpage. Blood donation locations in Rochester are:
    • Hilton Building, First Floor
      Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
      (507) 284-4475
    • Saint Mary’s Campus - Joseph Building Main Floor, Room M-86
      Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
      Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
      (507) 255–4359
  • Host a blood drive. To make it convenient for you to give blood, Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center offers mobile blood drives at locations around Olmsted County. Consider hosting a blood drive at your business, church or other site. Contact the Blood Donor Center to discuss.
  • Lead a blood donor challenge. Challenge your family, friends, colleagues or groups in your community to donate blood. These friendly competitions are a fun way to encourage others to donate — and save lives in the process. For the challenge, team members simply check in at one of the donation locations with their team name, which ensures the donation is counted. When the challenge ends, the group with the highest percentage participation wins bragging rights. Are you ready to start a challenge?