“Working at a blood bank, I know how important it is to donate blood. I’ve always just been an employee and a donor – up until I became a recipient.”
Blood is nothing new to Bee Xiong. Trained as a medical assistant, she started her career working at HealthPartners clinic for women, and later joined the phlebotomy staff at Memorial Blood Centers. In addition to years of collecting the generously donated blood of donors, she also has seven children who carry her blood within them.
“Working at a blood bank, I’ve known how important it is to donate blood. I’ve always just been an employee and a donor – up until I became a recipient,” she said.
Labor and delivery of her last baby boy went flawlessly. Two weeks later, early one morning in August of 2014, her older children prepared to go back to school, her newborn slept in her arms, and her husband left for a hunting trip. And Bee started hemorrhaging.
“I felt like I had to use the bathroom, and when I got up, there was post-partum bleeding. I kept losing blood, and my blood pressure dropped really low,” Bee said. “I tried to go join my older kids in the living room, but couldn’t. They were scared to see the blood and called my mother-in-law, who lives about a mile away from me. She brought me to the hospital.”
When Bee arrived at the hospital, she immediately received three units of blood. Once stable, doctors performed an ultrasound, and found a piece of placenta that was causing her hemorrhaging. She needed a dilation and curettage – a D&C. She was brought to surgery, and to keep her blood pressure stable, she received six more units of blood.
“Donated blood helped save my life and helped me keep caring for my seven kids,” Bee said. "Even though I’ve known the importance of giving blood for a long time, being on the other end gave me a whole different level of appreciation for donors.”
Bee recovered, and today has seven growing kids eager to become blood donors when they’re old enough. Today she still works with Memorial Blood Centers, collecting blood from generous donors on bloodmobiles around the community.