Blood donors save lives with irreplaceable gift

March 9, 2012 4:27:23 PM PST
Why do volunteers come out to donate blood during the ABC13 Annual Spring Blood Drive? They do it to save lives of children and adults.

Jordan Merecka is the teenager who made news last year when he got one of the first total artificial hearts. But it wasn't just the mechanical heart that saved him, it was also blood donations from people like you.

Most of Jordon's FFA friends from Cywoods High School haven't seen him since he nearly died this time a year ago. Jordan went into heart failure during spring break of 2011.

I met him at Texas Children's Hospital when he was the first teenager in Texas to be kept alive with an artificial heart.

"You hear it and you know it's still pumping," Jordan said.

In September he left the hospital, carrying the artificial heart pump in a backpack. Finally in October, he finally got a human heart transplant.

"I lost a lot of my own blood in the surgery so I needed donor blood or transfusions to keep me alive," Jordan explained.

Jordan's family held five blood drives for him. Student Brittanie Bosquez gave blood for him.

"It was my first time to donate blood me and my friend went," Brittanie recalled. "We waited for a couple hours and I was a little nervous. But I thought he was going through so much, it was the least I could do."

Jordan said, "It was just overwhelming how many of them came out to support me and give the gift of blood, which is irreplaceable. There's no substitute for blood, or for friendship."

Now Jordan's life is pretty much back to normal. He's going to college this fall. And he's grateful to both the medical technology and the human blood donors that saved his life.

"You have an artificial heart, but there's no artificial blood," Jordan said. "There's no substitute for it. It takes donors."

Thanks to all who give blood.