Ashley is a child-life specialist who has seen kids receiving blood in the pediatric emergency room. As part of her role, Ashley explains to children about receiving blood transfusions. “I always thought blood was available,” she says.
In summer 2017, Ashley gave birth to her first child, a beautiful baby boy.
A few weeks later she started to feel unwell. After a hospital visit and calls with nurses, she was about to be in the fight for her life.
About 48 hours after being told to make an appointment to see her OB-GYN, Ashley started hemorrhaging at home. “I had a blood clot the size of a basketball that came out of me,” said Ashley. Her husband called 911 and paramedics rushed her to the hospital.
After losing so much blood, Ashley remembers one of the biggest problems at the hospital was finding enough blood for her. “I’m O negative, and in the ER they were just giving me bags and bags of blood because the blood was just coming out faster than they could get it back in me.”
Ashley felt if she didn’t get that blood, then she was going to die. She had lost so much blood that Ashley remembers “once they brought me to the ICU, I had the nurse standing next to me squeezing the bag of blood trying to get it in me faster.”
Ashley spent 16 days in the ICU and wound up needing 19 units of blood, four units of platelets and four units of plasma, along with emergency surgery to remove her uterus, to save her life.
“In those moments after receiving blood, you feel like you have life in you again. You have that energy again to keep fighting for your life,” she says.
She is home now and feels blessed to be alive. “I am forever grateful for the donors,” Ashley says. “I just wish I knew each person that donated their blood to be able to call and say thank you for saving my life. I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for the donors.”
Ashley has made it her mission to encourage others to donate blood and bring awareness to postpartum hemorrhaging or traumatic events that happen. “Statistics are showing that Texas is one of the highest states for postpartum hemorrhaging and maternal deaths. I literally never thought that this would happen to me,” she says.