PHOENIX — Blood supplies across the Valley are critically low right now—that's why donating blood during the summer months is so important, especially around the Fourth of July holiday.
Team 12's Mike Gonzalez had a chance to meet a Valley woman who recruits blood donors for a living. She says if it wasn’t for your generosity, her 3-year-old daughter wouldn’t be alive today.
Katrina Eaton says life for her daughter PJ hasn’t always been easy.
“Blood donations have been critical and essential for my daughter’s recovery,” said Eaton.
At three months, PJ battled respiratory failure -- forcing her to use a breathing tube and to undergo multiple surgeries.
Eaton says there’s been no official diagnosis for her daughter’s condition -- which makes each day a bit more stressful.
When PJ first needed blood, she had a tracheostomy surgery and a feeding tube surgery where she required blood -- four units of O-negative. Recently she had a stomach infection that required life-saving emergency surgery.
Eaton works for Vitalant, a Scottsdale-based nonprofit organization that collects blood from volunteer donors.
She has recruited more than 200,000 people to donate blood. But she never thought that her work would save her daughter’s life.
“I just celebrated my 18th anniversary at work. In a million years I never imagined it’s my daughter who would need blood, even though that’s what I do for a living,” says Eaton.
With summer now in full swing, Eaton is encouraging everyone to donate blood as supplies dwindle in the Valley dwindle.
"Especially after the Fourth of July holiday, there’s a big push because there’s always a decline in donations in the summer months," Eaton said.
"Over the holidays we see a 20% drop…so we need to replenish that so patients aren’t waiting for blood."
More importantly, Eaton says donating blood can save a life --- like PJ’S.
"A lot of time I’m calling from the hospital with my daughter. Anybody that can take that time to give. You’re spending an hour of your day to give them the rest of their life. It’s such a huge impact,” said Eaton.
If you’d like to donate blood, you can be a part of Saving Arizona blood drive. It will take place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Tempe Center for the Arts.