The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


How to save (two) lives


Senior Amy Hein as well as other students pictured were part of 229 potential donors that took 20 minutes of their life to save another life.

As she stepped into the main gym for this year’s fall blood drive, senior Amy Hein was anxious to give a pint of her own blood, which could help save the lives of two other people.

On Nov. 6, Hein was one of the 229 potential donors that decided to give blood during the school day. For eight years the school has been donating to the Community Blood Center, and before that, Northwest donated to the Red Cross.

“ is equivalent to a bottle of water, and our bodies have somewhere from nine to twelve pints,” donor recruiter Kim Clark said.

This wasn’t Hein’s first time donating blood — she donated at last year’s fall blood drive as well. Then, at the spring blood drive, she decided to contribute to the again, but when she was tested for eligibility to donate, her iron count was too low for her to safely give blood. Instead of leaving the spring blood drive with a sticker boasting “Be nice to me, I gave blood today,” Hein left with one saying “I tried to give blood today.”

Hein came prepared this year, having eaten red meat prior to the donation to increase the iron count in her blood.

“I went to Chipotle and had a barbecue burrito today, and yesterday I had pot roast for dinner and lunch,” Hein said before she gave blood. “I had a cheeseburger , so I’ve been working on red meat for sure.”

When Hein went up to the blood drive registration table, she showed the worker her driver’s license, as proof that she is above seventeen years old, filled out paperwork and waited in line with the other donors to test if she was able to donate once again.

This time around, Hein was able to donate, and after testing she was escorted to one of the 25 blue beds where donors gave blood. As Hein lied down, the nurse tied a blue elastic band around her arm and cleaned Hein’s inner arm with rubbing alcohol to sanitize where the needle would go.

Before the needle was inserted into her vein, the girl behind Hein fainted during the process. Hein began singing along to “Payphone” by Maroon 5 that was playing in the background to distract her from what could happen to her as well.

After the incident the nurse was ready to insert the needle. When the needle came out of the package, Hein turned her head the other way. Immediately she felt the tube fill with blood after the needle was inserted. She was told to squeeze a ball every five seconds during the process, which takes no longer than 20 minutes.

While giving blood Hein waved to her friends and asked them how they were feeling so that the time would go by faster.

Every once in awhile, Hein’s nurse would check on her to ask how she felt and would adjust the needle to get a better blood flow.

“I felt some pressure and it hurt more than when they first put the needle in,” Hein said.

Before her 20 minutes were up, nurses adjusted the needle many times. The bag was still not full when the timer went off. If the bag is not full after 20 minutes, the blood is deemed unusable.

“It sucks that I didn’t get to help anyone out,” Hein said.

Unlike Hein, math teacher Marcus Fryatt experienced his first time donating blood.

“ was new,” Fryatt said. “I just sat there and they did everything for , they made it as comfortable and easy as possible.”

Like the many NW blood donors, Fryatt gave blood for a life changing cause.

“Why not ?” Fryatt said. “It’s helping out other people; you’ve got to do those things to help others.”

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How to save (two) lives