Local residents donate, receive gift of life

Local residents donate, receive gift of life
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Ina Payne knows how important it is to receive a blood donation.
Sandra Yates believes strongly in the importance of donating blood.
Ms. Payne now lives and works in Gadsden, Ala., after having worked at the former Goodyear plant in Union City for 17 years. She maintains a home in Union City where one of her five daughters is living.
Ms. Payne has a total of seven children.
Around 1999, Ms. Payne was experiencing problems with a lack of energy and after several tests she was diagnosed with acute anemia.
Her health problems required her to receive blood transfusions every six months and she was constantly tired and sluggish. Ms. Payne’s story was featured in Lifeline Blood Service’s annual report released this past summer.
In 2009, Ms. Payne underwent surgery for her acute anemia and she hasn’t needed a blood transfusion since. But it was during her hospital stay for the surgery that she realized the importance of blood transfusions.
“I feel kind of bad that I never realized how important blood donations were until I needed blood,” she was quoted in the Lifeline article. “But because of my personal experience of needing blood, I will be a personal testimony that blood is life.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Mrs. Yates has given more than 11 gallons of blood since the mid-1970s.
“When I first started giving, it was under (the former) Brown Shoe Co.,” she told The Messenger.
Mrs. Yates worked at the local shoe plant for 20 years, from 1972 until it closed, taking a year off for her son’s birth. She now works at Lennox Hearth Products in Union City and donates blood every other month.
At 61 years old, Mrs. Yates said she is “proud of every year I’ve lived.” Giving blood is not just something she does, it is more of a statement about who she is.
She said in 1990 she joined a group called Volunteer Bricklayers for Christ through her church, Calvary Baptist Church. A firm believer in mission work, Mrs. Yates said she “felt a call to do mission work.”
It is through donating blood Mrs. Yates said she is fulfilling a personal mission. Donating blood on a regular basis saves three lives per donation, she said.
The message is simple, “Please give blood. Someone’s life depends Through volunteers like Mrs. Yates, Lifeline is able to provide vital blood to area hospitals
Mrs. Yates isn’t the only Obion Countian who has heeded the call to donate blood.
In 2011, Obion Countians donated more than 1,900 pints of blood to help the needs of patients in West Tennessee hospitals, according to Lifeline spokesman Cherie Parker. She said 400 units of blood were provided through school blood drives in Obion County.
According to Lifeline, there are 77 regular blood donors in Obion County who have donated at least five gallons of blood (40 trips to the bloodmobile) and of those 77, six have donated more than 10 gallons (80 donations).
On the fourth Monday of each month, Health Quest in Union City hosts the Lifeline bloodmobile, which takes donations from 1-7 p.m. on those Mondays.
Throughout the year, several industries, church and schools in Obion County host Lifeline blood drives.
“We are always on the lookout for new locations to increase our presence in the area, as well as attract new donors,” Ms. Parker said. “We would like to thank all those that participate by hosting us, as well as all the faithful donors that come and support Lifeline by giving blood and making a difference in someone’s life.”
Obion County’s Baptist Memorial Hospital is one of 19 hospitals in 17 counties across West Tennessee served by Lifeline Blood Services in Jackson. That agency requires about 500 donations a week to keep those 19 hospitals across West Tennessee supplied with blood on a regular basis.
“Each year, patients in the West Tennessee hospitals served by Lifeline require 27,000 units of blood and blood products,” Lifeline’s website states.
What is today Lifeline Blood Services was originally established in Jackson in 1947. Jack and Martha Smythe and Ruby Warner began the Jackson Medical Laboratory and Blood Bank on the second floor of a building on Highland Avenue. The blood bank’s first customers were four small hospitals in Jackson, according to Lifeline’s website.
Upcoming blood drives scheduled in Obion County this month include a blood drive at the First State Bank in Kenton from noon-4:45 p.m. on Friday, the monthly blood drive at Health Quest from 1-7 p.m. Jan. 23 and a blood drive from 3-7 p.m. Jan. 30 at First Baptist Church in Troy.
 “The blood needs in West Tennessee continue to increase for all of our neighbors,” Lifelife CEO Joe Schifano said. “Almost 27,000 units of blood were required by patients in the 19 West Tennessee hospitals we serve. Obion County residents have always supported their blood program and are needed more than ever in the coming years. Blood for transfusions can only come from people. It can’t be manufactured and it can’t be ‘cooked up’ from chemicals … only blood donors can provide it.”
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 1.5.12

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