As the Chief Technologist of Transfusion Services at Scott & White Blood Center, Jennifer “Jenny” Harvey knows all too well the blood demands of a healthcare system. And, as a parent of a child who received lifesaving blood transfusions, she also knows how essential it is to give blood regularly.
Jenny has been donating for 10 years; she began in July 2003 and donates four to five times per year. As a result of Jenny’s profession, she has a unique perspective. “Every day, I see the need for blood donations for all types of patients: the young, those going through cancer treatments, heart patients, trauma patients, and sickle cell patients. I see it every day and I know, from experience, that there is no replacement for human blood. We rely on the generosity of others for blood to be available,” said Jenny. Blood donation is voluntary. It’s a small time commitment, but it’s easy to do. “It’s an hour out of your life every 56 days, but what it does for others is immeasurable,” she said.
“The need for blood is relentless.”
As part of the Scott & White policy, Jenny is able to donate during work hours. “I don’t feel donating impairs me from doing my job. I take a lot of pride in it. I think it’s a part of the reason I’m here. If I can, then I should,” said Jenny.
Furthermore, Jenny has personally felt the impact of blood donations. In December 2008, Jenny was 23 weeks along in her pregnancy with twins when she began experiencing premature labor. On December 27 she gave birth to her first twin, Huntleigh. Sadly, Huntleigh lived only 10 hours. After a week of bed rest, Jenny delivered Ryleigh. Ryleigh was born prematurely and only weighed one pound, 11 ounces. Ryleigh was immediately placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU); she would face a myriad of challenges. On April 1, after 88 long days in the hospital, and weighing just four and a half pounds, Ryleigh was finally able to go home. “Ryleigh had to have eight transfusions over three months and couldn’t have lived without it,” said Jenny. “The need for blood is relentless. People think someone else will take care of it. We can’t expect other people to be there, we are that group of people.”
Blood donations gave the Harveys an awe-inspiring gift: the gift of life. Thanks to the donations of others, Ryleigh is doing very well today.
Scott & White Blood Center remains the only local, hospital-based blood center in Central Texas by ensuring that all blood donations remain in Central Texas to directly benefit the people of our communities. Please join this Hometown Hero in saving lives by donating blood today!
For information about how you can donate contact us at 877-724-HERO (4376).