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Release of Likeness

“I always thought blood donations only helped really sick people, like someone with leukemia. You really never know when it might be you."

Tara Henderson gave birth to her first child after 24 hours of exhausting labor that culminated in a C-section. “Six years later and pregnant with my second child,” remembers Tara, “my doctor suggested a scheduled C-section, saying that it would make for a nice, easy delivery. So that’s what we did. Four days after delivering my baby boy, I was discharged and everything was fine. Three days later, I woke in the middle of the night hemorrhaging.”

Tara and her husband rushed to the ER. After a D&C, she was sent home with what seemed a normal amount of post-delivery bleeding. However, after waking up to severe bleeding again two days later, she was back in the emergency room. “I had lost so much blood at this point, plus the previous bleeding, that they immediately started a blood transfusion. My blood levels were down to 5 when I should have been at 13 or 14.”

Although CT scans revealed that the bleeding originated in the uterus, the exact source could not be identified. A hysterectomy was considered, but was deemed dangerous so soon after a C-section. “The new procedure they tried, called a uterine embolization, closed off the artery feeding blood to the uterus,” Lisa continued. “But I started bleeding again—actually to the point where I had lost half of the blood in my body.” Five more days in the hospital and more blood was needed to replenish Tara’s levels: six units in all. Another hospital visit occurred two weeks later with no further insight into what was causing the bleeding.

Two years later, Tara has not had a recurrence of the bleeding nor has her condition been diagnosed. “The experience has definitely changed me. I had given blood in the past, but honestly, it made me feel sick. Plus, I hate needles. But now I think of it as, you sacrifice five minutes of time, feel the pinch of a needle, and you can save a life.”