It is not often that blood donors meet their recipients, but one donor found out on Friday that her donation saved the life of a four-month-old in 2015.
The baby, Nathan Johnson, had a distended stomach and was jaundiced when he was taken to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the Arizona Republic reported.
“I felt like I was going to lose my little boy,” said Nathan’s mother, April Macak, at a function to honor blood drive coordinators across the country.
“That first blood transfusion brought him back,” she said. “That second blood transfusion kept him here.”
Since then, Nathan has received blood from 80 different donors, who donated 1,375 times, range in age from 17 to 80, and are located in 25 cities.
Nathan, who is now five years old, met 14 of the donors and handed them each a Valentine’s Day card at the event on Friday to celebrate blood donors, KSAZ reported.
“It makes me so happy that I do donate,” said donor Jeanne O’Callaghan.
Nathan has a rare blood disorder where his body makes up immature red blood cells which break apart at a rapid pace, meaning that he has to receive a unit and a half of A-positive blood transfusions every four weeks for the rest of his life to survive.
“It’s magical seeing everyone,” Johnson said. “They’re honestly a part of him.”
February 14 is not just Valentine’s Day, but it is also National Donor Day, so many organizations are raising awareness about organ donation and about how lives can be saved.
In North Texas, a boy got to meet the bone marrow donor who saved his life on Friday as well, NBC DFW reported.