Gonzales woman looks to replenish blood donation drought
GONZALES – As Louisiana residents heed the Governor's orders to stay home, the nation is seeing a severe blood donation shortage. One woman took it upon herself to help out locally.
"We've had to cancel all of our events so we decided to approach it from another angle,” said Misty Walls.
Walls and her husband run the nonprofit Louisiana Warriors Unleashed, where they provide service animals to veterans and first responders. While they would normally be busy hosting events for the cause, social distancing has put a halt to that. So instead, Walls decided to focus on blood donations.
“Being that I’m a nurse I knew how important blood donations are,” said Walls. “Outside of covid 19, there’s still a need for blood for emergency surgeries, cancer patients and our sickle cell patients.”
On Sunday from 11 to 4, Walls partnering with Life Share stationed a blood donation truck near Cabella’s.
“It’s crazy times and I read that the blood supplies were low so I wanted to come out here and do my part,” said Michael Frederick, who was one of the first ones to make a blood donation. “There’s always a concern [about being exposed to coronavirus] but I think the greater goal is to give when you can.”
Workers inside the truck were taking extra precautions to limit the chance of exposure.
“They’re asking a few questions if you’ve had a fever in the last two weeks, if they know if they’ve been exposed to covid 19, if they feel sick stay home and they’ve also ramped up sanitation as well,” said Walls.
The majority of the blood donated will go to Baton Rouge General. During the 5 hours, 17 units of blood products. Walls hopes to team up with Life Share again in two weeks to hold another drive.
“A pint of blood goes a long way,” she said.