By Tracy Parmer, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
The Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center is known for always having great blood drives. But with some of the recent changes the center has gone through—becoming part of Joint Base San Antonio and moving all inpatient services to Fort Sam Houston—it has taken two very dedicated women to ensure the hospital blood drives continue to be successful. Meet Capt. Jena Campbell and 1st Lt. Samantha Hughes.
Campbell and Hughes came to the Lackland Blood Donor Center wanting to know how, despite all the moving around, the blood drives at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center could continue. The answer was relatively simple—make sure we keep spreading the word. So Campbell and Hughes hit the ground running.
“Working in the Air Medical Staging Facility and learning about the wounded warriors and the massive blood transfusions needed to save their lives has shown me how important blood donation here is,” said Hughes. “It is something easy we can do to help the men and women sacrificing over there.”
Campbell, who said part of her mission was to “facilitate safe medical airlift of wounded, ill and injured patients,” was eager to get the blood drives going. She said she had seen the need for blood firsthand, so she knows that even “being a point-of-contact and being part of the process will save someone’s life.”
Getting the Air Medical Staging Facility involved with the program was an easy decision for these ladies, especially since they both know the impact blood donations have for the wounded warriors they are caring for.
“I try to put a patient's story and name to the pint of blood I'm asking them to donate,” said Hughes. “It doesn't seem like a sacrifice at all then to ask for a mere 30 to 45 minutes of their time.”
“Every day at my home unit, I see patients with cancer or other medical complications who get a unit or two and it makes all the difference in how they look and feel,” said Campbell. “Being here at the Air Medical Staging Facility learning about the patients coming home and the massive blood transfusions given downrange, has really made us both feel passionate about the fact that this is something we can do here to help our injured patients coming home.”
These two women have managed to keep collecting high at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center with their passion and drive. When asked if they would continue to help with blood drives, they both answered with an astounding, “Absolutely!”
“Every day people need blood transfusions and it's a small sacrifice to make someone’s life,” said Hughes.
Both Campbell and Hughes were amazing to watch, and they certainly inspired a lot of people to roll up their sleeves and donate. The Lackland Blood Donor Center wants to send out a heartfelt thank you to the determined ladies who have made the blood drives a great success.
To find out more about the Armed Services Blood Program or to schedule an appointment, please visit us online: www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with some of our staff, see more photos or to get the latest news, visit us here: www.facebook.com/militaryblood, www.flickr.com/militaryblood or www.twitter.com/militaryblood.