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Grain Valley, Missouri, mom received 109 units of blood, asks others to donate the gift of life

LuAnn Hunt
A current blood shortage is causing cancellation of surgeries as some regions have less than a one-day supply of blood.

The country's blood supply is dangerously low. For Meghan Jolliffe, if this shortage had occurred while she was giving birth, she may not have survived.

As her water broke Meghan Jolliffe suffered an amniotic fluid embolism, a rare but often fatal condition. As a result, she needed 109 units of blood transfused into her to ultimately save her life.

Now Joliffe is a blood donation advocate, running several blood drives a year at her business in the Kansas City suburb of Grain Valley.

"It was so successful the first drive... raised almost 60 units," says Jolliffe. "So, we're just really grateful that everyone came out and donated."

But, it's not always possible to reach those kinds of numbers at every drive.

"It's always a tough time of year to get it through the holidays," Jolliffe explains. "But even this year was tough, we only had 20 people come out. So, it was tough for me to even get the support this year."

At the Greater Kansas City & Northwest Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross, its blood center is seeing dangerously low donation levels. According to Executive Director Randee Krumwiede, the supply is in "pretty bad shape."

"We're really making a plea to the public to roll up a sleeve and donate blood," she explains. "We get concerned because we make these pleas on regular occasions. But right now, it's urgent."

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