Current thank you item: Donating is My Favorite Elf T-shirt
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Ten years after a traumatic lawnmower accident ultimately took her right leg, 14-year-old Katie Eddington and her family will partner with Kentucky Blood Center for the Katie Gives Back Blood Drive.
The blood drive will take place Oct. 13 from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Scott County Courthouse at 101 East Main Street in Georgetown. The drive is open to the public, and appointments are available at kybloodcenter.org or by calling 800.775.2522.
The Katie Gives Back Blood Drive will celebrate the triumphant resilience of Katie, who was severely injured in a lawnmower accident at 4 years old. She suffered major blood loss and underwent an above-the-knee amputation two years after the initial trauma.
Katie was treated at University of Kentucky Hospital, where she underwent 16 of 22 surgeries in the first month and received blood transfusions to save her life. Approximately 40% of the blood KBC collects is provided to UK Hospital.
“Every single year we give back because of all this town, the people and the doctors have done for me,” Katie said. “I received so much blood and had so many surgeries. It took a lot of time for people to get me to where I am today, so we try to give back to those people every year. We’ve sent food baskets to POA (Prosthetic & Orthotic Associates), donuts to the hospital and last year we went to the cancer center and gave the kids stuffed animals. It’s so important to me because of how much everyone has done for me, and we think it’s essential to give back.”
Katie not only recovered from the accident, she has thrived. Within weeks of the amputation when she was 6 years old, Katie was up and moving on a prosthetic leg, and she participated in her first 5k less than a year late.
Now, as a freshman at Scott County High School, Katie is a budding world-class athlete. She has qualified for the World Abilitysport Games in Thailand later this year and she has her eyes set on the 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.
Katie knows firsthand the second chance blood donation can give someone in need. She is hoping to fill the Oct. 13 blood drive and pay it forward for other Kentuckians in need.
“Anybody can come in and donate, and it’s a great thing to do,” Katie said. “I took so much blood. It’s really giving back to something that hits so close to home. Every donation you make, whether it’s a trauma like mine or treating something else, you’re saving someone’s life. Every donation is a life. I know that because it gave me mine back.”
All registered donors at the Katie Gives Back Blood Drive will receive a “Blood is Red, Grass is Blue, I Save Lives, How ‘Bout You” T-shirt (while supplies last). The first 20 people who register online and donate on the day of the blood drive will also receive a $10 Texas Roadhouse gift card, compliments of the Eddington family.
One in four people will need a blood transfusion in their lifetime. KBC and its donors provide those lifesaving blood products for Kentuckians as a supplier for more than 70 hospitals in Kentucky. Through the generosity of donors, KBC provides blood for a wide range of vital treatments, including cancer, trauma, sickle cell, organ transplant, surgeries and much more.
Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, show a photo I.D. and meet additional requirements. Sixteen-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at kybloodcenter.org.
Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule a donation, visit kybloodcenter.org or call 800.775.2522.
Celebrating 55 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Pikeville, Somerset and the Tri-County area.