It’s hard to predict when an accident or emergency may happen. But you can help hospitals stand ready by giving blood or platelets with the American Red Cross during Trauma Awareness Month in May.

When every second counts, blood products can provide lifesaving care – something William DeJong can attest to. William was having a busy morning moving cows around his dairy farm and hurrying to wrap up work so he could take his family to their cabin. He jumped into a pen and didn’t notice the feed truck backing up. The 30-ton truck ran over him in two directions. 

“All pandemonium broke loose,” William said. “I could feel myself bleeding to death from broken femurs.” 

A helicopter transported William to the hospital. He was in a coma for 2½ weeks. He went through 24 surgeries, had a broken collarbone, and lost his left leg below the knee and later the right leg, too. Throughout the ordeal, he needed over 100 units of blood.  

“If people didn’t give blood, I wouldn’t be here today,” he said. “I’m 100% thankful for the ones whose blood I received, especially with my blood type. I needed a lot of blood.”

Medical traumas like William’s can quickly deplete hospital blood banks, impacting trauma patients as well as others who rely on transfusions to survive. You can help ensure hospital shelves are fully stocked.

Schedule an appointment to donate blood, platelets or plasma by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Type O negative blood donors are especially needed.

In thanks, all who come to give May 1-19 will receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice. Those who come to give May 20-31 will receive an exclusive Red Cross beach towel, while supplies last. For more details and terms, visit