It’s something many of us don’t think about. Health experts say for trauma and cancer patients, blood donations save lives. That’s the case for 8-year-old Juan Carlos Frenes Lopez. “Thanks to the transfusions, he’s alive,” said Juan Carlos’ mom, Liudeibys Lopez Questa.
Juan Carlos was just three years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. “His first admission at a hospital he was in the hospital almost a month because his white blood cells were so high that he couldn’t catch up. He was in isolation for a long time. He needed a lot of blood transfusions,” said Questa.
After four years of chemotherapy and multiple blood transfusions, today Juan Carlos is in remission. “The blood somebody gave to the blood center saved his life,” said Questa.
The blood center supplies all four hospitals at Lee Health, the Golisano Children’s Hospital, Trauma Center, and the Regional Cancer Center, and is in constant need of donors. Each month 1900 units of red blood cells and 250 platelets are given to patients.
“The volunteer blood donors are the most important part of this entire process. Without a doubt, blood saves lives,” said blood center supervisor, Jeremy Puckett.
Juan Carlos is living proof of that. Now, 8 years old, he hopes to one day become a doctor. But for now, he gets to feel what it’s like to be a kid. “I feel more normal than I did before because I wasn’t allowed to ride bikes so I learned how to ride my bike last year,” said Juan Carlos.
He and his mother encourage others to donate blood in hopes of saving more children and patients like Juan Carlos. “Thank you for being so kind to me,” said Juan Carlos.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.