Helium Balloons or Blood Donations?

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 16:09
Jenn Murgo & Family

You give blood to help someone else. Who are those someones?

Who: Jennifer Murgo, 36, Warwick, RI, self-described health & fitness lover ️ R.I. ? mom of 2 ?happiness sharer???teacher ?dream chaser ? vegetarian ?? dog ? lover ?tech junkie

Occupation: Special Education Teacher in East Greenwich.

Reason: Jenn is the carrier of Thalassemia, a group of inherited genetic blood disorders resulting in abnormal hemoglobin levels in the blood. Hemoglobin is part of your red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body.

What happened: During her first pregnancy, Jenn had severe preeclampsia. It kept her in the hospital for three weeks after delivering her first child. During that time, Jenn’s hemoglobin dropped much lower than it normally runs and wouldn’t come back up with treatment.

She says: “I was a little nervous to receive blood, but excited because I felt super crappy in the hospital. I was having trouble breathing, walking, and felt exhausted. I just wanted relief. My doctors at Women & Infant’s decided to give me red blood cells. I felt instantly better -- like I was a balloon that was being reinflated!? I felt so good, I told the doctors I wanted to have transfusions all the time! To blood donors, thank you. It’s worth it to take the time to give. A little bit of discomfort from that quick needle stick saves lives.”

Jenn’s dad Guy Murgo has been a Rhode Island blood donor for years. He wife Carol, Jenn’s mom, battled pancreatic cancer ten years ago. She needed a lot of blood during chemotherapy. Those blood donors gave this family almost an entire year more with her before she passed away.

Jenn lives a full and grateful life with fiancé Neil and their two kids Madelyn, 2, and Josephine, 3 months old. If she could donate blood, she'd give every eight weeks. Instead, she asks that her friends and family donate for her.