On Valentine’s Day in 2008 Bob, then age 69, was getting out of bed when he collapsed, in tremendous pain. Healthy and without warning, Bob had suffered an aortic aneurysm, generally fatal due to rapid blood loss. A miraculous chain of events including EMS, physicians, and 59 local blood donors saved his life. Bob underwent a 12-hour surgery that required 69 units of blood to save his life.
Bob’s story caught the attention of national media. “Apparently I ended up as the person who received the most blood ever during a surgery, and Good Morning America talked to me about my experience while I was in recovery,” he said. “Donating blood is very important to help save others’ lives. The doctors told me that without the blood bank, they would not have been able to operate.” Bob had donated blood consistently starting when he lived in Buffalo because his nephew was diagnosed with leukemia. As soon as he was medically cleared by his physicians, he began donating again. He wants to assure those who are leery about needles that blood donation is painless and only takes about half an hour.