Blood loss survivor turns blood donor

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 6:19 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - A man went from a survivor to a life long blood donor, after the Oklahoma Blood Institute helped save his life in 2019.

Now he wants others to join him in his journey to save lives.

Erick chandler has been riding horses since he was a young boy, so never in a million years did he think he would almost lose his life while riding one.

He was working cattle while riding horseback, when the traumatic accident happened.

”My horse came back over on top of me, and my saddle horn impaled my inner thigh,” Chandler said. “So when the saddle horn actually went into my thigh, it tore out my muscle, my femoral artery and femoral nerve which essentially caused me to bleed out.”

His father-in law called 911, he was flown to OU Medical in Oklahoma City, during the ride, he received 6 pints of O-negative blood to keep him alive.

In 2016, the Oklahoma Blood Institute made an initiative to replace saline bags with blood bags in medical helicopters, which will help a person with major blood loss.

Chandler said if his accident happened before the change, he would not be here today to tell his story.

”I laid in the pasture for 45 minutes bleeding, flew in a helicopter for 30 minutes. so one hour and 15 minutes, I lost a lot of blood,” Chandler said. “That blood that OBI placed on that helicopter actually saved my life.”

14 months after his accident, he started giving blood donations to help others who might need blood too.

He said it took a total of 23 pints of blood to keep him alive, which shows that it takes a lot of people to donate to save just one life.

”To put in perspective, every time that we donate we only give one pint of blood,” Chandler said. “So it took 23 people, their time, their energy to sit down and donate blood that saved my life. "

Before his accident, he didn’t think much of giving blood, but now he is dedicating his time and energy to be one of those donors who saves lives.

Even though he had to overcome a fear.

”Well, today will actually be my third time,” Chandler said. “So getting over the needle thing is difficult for me every time. I spent three or four weeks in the hospital, being poked and prodded, which helped a little bit. Helped me be more comfortable with it.”

Chandler said he believes he was saved for a reason, and that reason is to be the voice and example for the OBI, getting people to realize their donation could save a life in our community.

If you would like to join Chandler is becoming a blood donor, you can go to the Oklahoma Blood Institute’s website to learn more.

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