Hundreds of people give blood at Lane Blood Center each week, but Ashley Roberson’s first donation had a special significance.
In 2007, Ashley learned she was pregnant with twins. She carried the two babies, a boy and a girl, to 38 weeks with no complications. And on Nov. 26, 2007, 6-pound-14-ounce Roman and 6-pound-9-ounce Violet were born via scheduled C-section at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center, University District. Both babies were strong, vibrant and healthy.
But after the birth, 22-year-old Ashley started bleeding. And she didn’t stop. She was experiencing massive postpartum hemorrhaging and the blood loss was life-threatening. To compound the problems, Ashley had an allergic reaction to the anesthetic used during the procedure and went into shock
Ashley’s doctors rushed her to the operating room and gave her four units of blood. Over the next several hours, doctors tried various methods to stop the bleeding, but none had lasting effect. As each attempt failed, Ashley needed more transfusions of blood and blood products to stabilize her condition. Ultimately, doctors performed an emergency hysterectomy in a final effort to save Ashley’s life.
Ashley recovered her strength quickly and was released from the hospital a week later. Nurses credited her youth. Ashley credits her skilled physicians — and the 15 units of whole blood, nine units of plasma and other blood products that doctors used to sustain her during the crisis.
“Had the medical staff at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene not reacted so quickly, the odds are against that I would have survived,” Ashley said. “I’m grateful for my ability to be here and be present in my children’s lives. I’m grateful that they were both born healthy and on time.”
Six years later, and the twins are in Kindergarten and playing T-ball with friends. Kids and mom are healthy and thriving.
“I don’t know that before my scenario I’d ever thought about giving blood,” Ashley said before making the first of many future donations. “I definitely see the value in it now.”