“I would not be here today if it was not for blood donations,” said Fort Worth resident Elizabeth Mendez.
In January 2020, the mother of two had an unexpected and frightening health emergency. Experiencing intense abdominal pain, Elizabeth was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. Upon arrival, her blood pressure dropped so low that she lost consciousness. She began having seizures and became unresponsive.
Doctors determined Elizabeth had internal bleeding and began performing exploratory surgery to discover its origin.
During four surgeries over three days, Elizabeth received more than 100 units of lifesaving blood. Surgeons ultimately found the medical crisis to be a ruptured aneurysm in Elizabeth’s splenic artery.
As she lay in a coma in ICU, Elizabeth’s odds of recovery were given as 50/50.
“The surgeons later told me they personally have never seen anyone live from this, because it is so rare and hard to catch in time,” she said.
But the odds turned in her favor and Elizabeth began a steady journey back to health.
“I am told that I am lucky to be alive and I know it’s true,” she said.
Today, Elizabeth and her husband Dario share deep gratitude for the donors who selflessly contributed blood used in her surgeries. Elizabeth credits blood donors for giving her the opportunity to see her daughter graduate eighth grade and her son graduate fifth grade this year.
She also achieved a significant graduation milestone herself by completing Tarrant County’s Citizen Prosecutor Academy, a 12-week program that gives residents an in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system.
“I am so thankful for everyone that donated blood and literally saved my life,” said Elizabeth, who has become a dedicated donor to help others. “I have vowed to give back. I will be donating as often and for as long as I can.”
Tell Us Your Story
Have you, a family member or a friend been affected by the lifesaving gift of giving or receiving blood? Carter BloodCare would love to hear from donors and recipients, because your words can inspire others to donate. Please share your story.