On the day before Thanksgiving, a Honolulu teen and her family gave thanks for what turned out to be a life-saving donation.
Last year, 14-year-old Kennedy Cummings had to be rushed to the emergency room after she lost a lot of blood.
“I knew I was sick and stuff, but I didn’t realize how serious it was up until that day when I called for my mom… and I had to go straight into the emergency room, to the ER, to get the transfusion,” she said.
A blood test revealed Kennedy’s red cell blood count had dropped from a normal 14 percent to a dangerous seven percent. Severely anemic, she needed a blood transfusion immediately.
“Her whole face was just… There was absolutely no color at all in her face,” said Kennedy’s mother, Jennifer.
“You could see in her fingers, there was no capillary refill and they looked almost translucent,” said her father, Brian, “but as the blood transfusion happened, all the color came back and life literally poured into her. So it was just crazy, but we were able to understand, too, the importance.”
The night Kennedy was in the hospital, three other patients received blood transfusions.
“It really hit us hard and made us realize there is a huge need and that one person does make a huge difference,” Jennifer said.
“I really wish there were faces of the people who donated the blood on each of them, so I could thank them and give them all a huge hug and send them all thank you letters and just know who they were, because they really saved my life,” Kennedy said.
Brian and Jennifer are now regular blood donors.
The Blood Bank of Hawaii says about 200 blood donors are needed every day to ensure the right blood type and amounts are on the shelves when patients need them.
If you’d like to donate, call 848-4770 or click here to schedule an appointment.