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June 20, 2023
Tangee Terry has worked at Kentucky Blood Center for nearly 10 years. She has drawn the blood of more than 2,500 people at this point.
Tangee knows what she and others do at KBC is important. She gets that blood donation is vital.
But there is a difference between knowing and truly believing, and Tangee and her middle daughter, Brianna (Bee), recently experienced the real-life impact blood donations have on people every single day.
On Feb. 12, 2023, the day before her 22nd birthday, Bee was at home with her partner when she started feeling mild stomach pain and passed out. When her partner couldn’t wake her, she called 911, and Bee was transported by ambulance to the emergency room at Baptist Health Richmond.
After a couple of quick tests, it was obvious Bee was hemorrhaging. She was rushed into emergency surgery, where doctors discovered 3.6 liters of blood in her abdominal and chest cavities.
The doctor later told Tangee that Bee only had two or three pints of blood remaining in her body at that point.
“She would not have survived without blood transfusions,” Tangee said.
Thanks to the generosity of donors and hardworking staff at KBC, lifesaving blood products were available when Bee unexpectedly needed it.
In addition to a number of pints Bee required during surgery, she also received four additional units over the next couple of days just to get her hemoglobin back up to nine to go home. A normal level for a female is between 12 and 15.
Bee has recovered and is doing well now, but the scary experience has had a lasting experience on Tangee.
“I look at my job a lot differently than I looked at it a month ago,” Tangee said.
When Tangee was bedside by her daughter, one of the first things she noticed was the KBC unit number on the blood bag.
“It confirmed the wonderful people I work with daily helped save my daughter's life,” Tangee said.“Without their hard work each day, she would not be here.”
Tangee had been exposed to the real-life impact of blood donation before with her late grandparents, but nearly losing a daughter underscored to Tangee just how significant each and every donation is.
“Working here all these years, I know it’s important, but I didn’t look at it like the way I look at it now,” Tangee said. “You hear it, but actually seeing it and it being your child, I have a new sense of appreciation for what we do at KBC.”
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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.