Fairborn donor Kathleen Jeffers reached her 100th lifetime blood donation Tuesday, June 7 at the Dayton Community Blood Center and recalled without hesitation how her journey to the milestone began. “It was right after my grandson was hurt,” she said.
Kathleen told the story as she made a platelet and plasma donation. “He was a bull rider, and the bull fell on top of him. It was 10 years ago in Waynesville. He needed a lot of blood. He made a record at that time for Miami Valley Hospital. He coded on the table while they were operating on him. He was 18.”
Thanks to his doctors and blood donors, Kathleen’s grandson Zachary survived the injury and is today a Fairborn Fire Department firefighter and paramedic. Zach is the son of Kathleen’s oldest daughter Gineen. “He was studying music at the time, but after the accident decided to be a paramedic,” said Kathleen. “I guess you could say he changed his tune! He’s doing great, but he doesn’t ride bulls anymore. He said, ‘I won’t put my mother through that again.’”
He hasn’t put his grandmother through it again either, but he did change her life. As a “Donor for Life” Kathleen continues to impact the lives of patients in need. Her blood type is AB positive, making her an ideal apheresis donor. “They asked me to do it, and I said yes,” she said.
Kathleen and her husband Herman have been married 55 years and have four children, 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. “We’ve always farmed,” she said about their home between Fairborn and Huber Heights. Their growing family live nearby and her commitment to giving blood continues as a way of giving thanks and giving back.