Donors heed urgent call for blood after SR-82 crash; donations still needed

Reporter: Morgan Rynor Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Photo: Matthew Allen Hecht / MGN

A crash on SR-82 in Collier County early Friday sent 13 people to the hospital and created an urgent need for blood.

Lee Health’s supply was already low, but following Friday’s crash, many people turned out to help strangers in need.

Chana Haynes never donated blood, but she did Friday, soon after seeing WINK News coverage of the crash on SR-82“My first time ever; I was a little scared, to be honest with you.”

Lee Health put out the word that hospitals need blood donors. It’s rare that ambulances have to take 13 people to emergency rooms at one time.

Rosalie Brooks donated only once before. “The last time I donated blood was Sept. 11, 2001.”

The same feeling that day made her get up and go Friday.

“Today’s the day,” she said. “I just got off the couch and said I have to go.”

Lee Health is grateful Brooks and so many others answered the call.

“I did not have a wonderful supply of blood on hand. We’ve been struggling for the past month,” said Jeremy Puckett, a supervisor at the Lee Health Blood Center.

Typically, blood drives at the start of school help replenish the supply.

“There are not as many kids in school so that’s a huge draw that we are going to be missing out on,” Puckett said.

So they’re asking you for help.

“You’ve got to have it there before the tragedy happens.”

Puckett said the number of donors he usually sees doubled soon after the crash and the call for donors.

If you can help, there’s a blood drive Saturday at Bell Tower, near Dave and Buster’s, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Citygate Ministries is also holding a blood drive for Lee Memorial Health at 1735 Jackson Street in Fort Myers on Sunday from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.

You can also visit or call (239)343-2333 for the location of the Lee Health Blood Center nearest you.

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