Blood donation comes full circle


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After a traumatic accident, a Niagara County woman who regularly gives blood, found herself in need. The American Red Cross saved her life.

This past August, Jessie Jesson and her family took a trip to Cape May, New Jersey. Being a Wilson native, she’s no stranger to the water and was excited to hit the beach.

“I grabbed my boogie board and I went out,” said Jesson. “I saw a few waves and was able to ride one.  It was perfect it was so fun,” she said. 

Jesson headed out to try to catch another wave but it didn’t go as planned. “The wave took me under and it smacked me into the ground,” she said.  “When I went under water I could hear a crack.”

That’s when she knew something wasn’t right.

“I was in so much pain.  I couldn’t breath and I thought my ribs were cracked,” she said.  “I just kept thinking if I don’t get out of this water,  I’m going to drown.”   

With everything she had she willed herself to shore, but she had no idea her fight was just beginning.

An ambulance took her to a local emergency room where they did a quick scan. It revealed she had three lacerations in her liver.

“At that point i thought I could die because I was bleeding internally,” she said.  

She was flown to the Cooper Trauma Center, for emergency surgery and given 7 blood transfusions over the course of nine days. 

“If I didn’t get the blood transfusions right then and there I would’ve died,” she said.  “There’s no way they could’ve stopped the bleeding.”

Jesson has been a blood donor herself for the past 20 years.  But she never imagined she’d end up being the one needing blood to survive. 

“Nine strangers showed up in a room and they gave blood and they saved my life,” said Jesson. 

To donate blood to The Red Cross head here.

News 4 is teaming up with The Red Cross for a Red Cross Telethon. It will take place 1/22 from 12-7 p.m.

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