It was a rainy Sunday afternoon on June 13, 2010 that changed Donna Smith Davenport's life forever. She was driving from a church in Trucksville to her grandmother's house in Harveys Lake when she got in a side-collision car accident that resulted in a brain injury, broken nose, neck, ribs, vertebrae, ruptured spleen, shattered pelvis and punctured lungs.
Davenport is the honorary chair for the 3rd annual American Red Cross Run for Red 5k Run/Walk, which will take place on Saturday, March 31 at 10:30 a.m. at the Northeastern Pennsylvania Region Blood Center on New Commerce Blvd. in Ashley.
Last year, the Run for Red raised $9,000, and this year the goal is $15,000, according to Race Director Phoretta Hoover.
Davenport will start the race as well as share her story of how the American Red Cross saved her life afterward.
"The Red Cross comes into play because I lost my whole blood volume three times within 24 hours," Davenport said.
She added that she originally was supposed to be life-flighted, but for some reason it never happened.
"If they would of life-flighted me, they would have lost me because there wouldn't have been enough blood supply in the helicopter," she said.
She was taken in the ambulance to Geisinger in Wilkes-Barre, and within two minutes, she was bleeding to death. Had Davenport arrived 120 seconds later, she would have died.
"I heard from a friend who was a doctor in the ER that I left a tray of blood from the ambulance to operating table, and she said as fast as the doctors were pouring blood into me, I was pouring it back out," she said. "I believe I used up the whole blood supply at Geisinger Wilkes-Barre that day."
She shared that she once believed that only elderly people or people with cancer need blood, but now realizes that anyone can be in a situation where the unimaginable happens, and they need blood supply.
"I actually kind of feel like it should be a law that people have to donate blood because if they're the next ones in an accident, they're going to expect blood to be given to them, and if they've never donated, how will they know there's going to be a blood supply?" she said. "They're just depending on the good will of others."
She appreciates the time that people take to donate blood to help those in need.
"Nobody likes to be stuck in the arm for 15 minutes or how long it takes, but people do it, and because they do, I am able to be around today," she said.
The doctors weren't sure if she would be able to walk again or if she would be dependent on other people, due to her brain injury from the car accident.
"The fact that today I look, act and feel like nothing ever happened," she said. "When I tell people about it, they're shocked. I pull up my shirt a little bit and show them the 8-inch scar going down my stomach. That's pretty much the only proof I have that it happened. That and all the other scars from head to toe."
3rd Annual American Red Cross Run for Red 5k Run/Walk, Sat., March 31, 10:30 a.m., registration 9 a.m., NEPA Regional Blood Center (29 New Commerce Blvd., Hanover Industrial Park). $15 pre-register, $20 day of. Info: 570.823.7161 ext. 340, [email protected], wyomingvalley.redcross.org.