Memorial blood drive brings donors to Floyd County during nationwide shortage

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 6:52 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2023 at 11:41 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - With a blood supply shortage impacting reserves across the nation, the American Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors to roll up their sleeves and drive up to a donation station.

Data from the Red Cross shows blood donors of all types are currently needed as supply levels have dropped around 25 percent since early August.

“Currently, there is a shortage of blood across the whole U.S., so the importance of donating blood is that one pint of blood that you give can save up to seven people’s lives,” said Melissa McGill, Disaster Program Manager. “So, it’s very important that people donate.”

Officials said drives like the one hosted in Prestonsburg Friday are helping to bring in the blood.

“Every three minutes, someone’s needing blood across the U.S.,” said McGill. “From wrecks, from just needing blood transfusions, if they have cancer.”

The Ally Davis Memorial Blood Drive brought in more donors than ever during its third year, celebrating the Star City’s beloved artist and activist who died in 2020.

“I think we’ve had more sign-ups this time then we have the previous two years, so we’re excited about that. As everyone has probably heard, there is a blood shortage going on in the country. So, it’s very important that everyone come out and do their part, because that’s what Ally would want for us,” said her father, and one of the first in line to give, Barry Davis.

Though her short 21 years were full of love and sacrifice, Barry said sacrifice- like a small act of donating blood- can be credited for the fact that Ally was able to live at all. She was born with complications that required eight days in the NICU and a blood transfusion, which saved her life.

“We would not have had those 21 years if someone back in 1999 hadn’t made the decision that these people were making today: to give blood and to help save lives,” said Barry. “They could be doing that today. There could be somebody out there who’s who’s taking their child to the hospital, needs a blood transfusion, and they will save their lives.”

Now, Barry said, the blood drive is a way to celebrate her life and how she lived it in a way she would have loved.

“When things are at their worst, the people in Eastern Kentucky- and here in Floyd County- they’re at their best. They show up; they come out,” he said.

He said anyone who wants to ‘Be an Ally,’ who couldn’t make it to the drive, should find another way to give.