Cassidy Smith and her daughter are living proof that generosity creates miracles
When a new mother’s labor turned into an emergency, 300 people helped save the lives of Cassidy Smith and her newborn daughter. It was Feb. 10, 2012, at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver — and a night the Smith family and many others will never forget.
Smith was in the early stages of labor when she had a catastrophic amniotic fluid embolism, a condition that causes heart and lung failure, as well as causing blood clotting to cease. Her unborn daughter’s heart stopped as well.
“We forget, but it can be dangerous for mothers to have babies,” Joyce Gottesfeld, who worked as an OB/GYN and was on staff at the hospital that night, told The Denver Post. “It looked kind of grim for a while.”
The doctor said she had never heard of “someone getting chest compressions for an hour.”
The grave emergency called for six surgeries and a long series of blood transfusions. A human being has 10 pints of blood at any given moment. To get this mother and child through 48 hours of terror, it took an amazing 270 units of blood or blood products to save their lives.
And perhaps many of those who donated their blood to help others did so as a higher calling — or to give back, or to answer a prayer, or as part of their faith-based life.
During the Bonfils Blood Center banquet at Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Aug. 18, 2016, Cassidy Smith and her now four-year-old, Anne-Claire Smith, got to meet 29 of their heroes. These individuals’ blood donations saved Smith and her daughter.
Some 200 people attended the event, including many of the staff members who also helped in the Smiths’ recovery.
Those couple of days of crisis called for “every unit of [blood] platelets in the city,” Gottesfeld told The Post.
“Issues like Cassidy’s really underscore that need for blood to be ready to go in advance of an emergency,” Liz Lambert, who is a communications specialist for Bonfils Blood Center, told the publication. “We’ve got a 43-gallon lifetime donor here today, but one of the people here also only made four donations. She helped save Cassidy’s life, too.”
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