The Beckwith Family's Story

How many units of blood does it take to save someone’s life? The answer varies from patient to patient—for Stephanie Beckwith, a Byron, Nebraska native, it was 22.

“It took the kindness of many people to save my life,” Stephanie said. “I wouldn’t be here without them.”

After giving birth via C-section to her third child, Stephanie expected to return home and adjust to life as a family of five. Instead, nurses found internal hemorrhaging. She was losing so much blood so quickly, her blood wasn’t clotting. So much blood, in fact, it left the shelves of Boone County Health Center in Albion nearly empty.

“I later found out they used every unit of type A positive, they were working through the supply of type A negative, and sent the last units of type O negative on the helicopter as they life-flighted me to Omaha,” she said. “It’s incredible to think something so routine caused such a shortage and really showed me how important every blood donation is.”

When Stephanie arrived in Omaha, she had an emergency hysterectomy before doctors were able to stabilize her. In honor of her harrowing journey, members of the Byron community hosted a blood drive with Nebraska Community Blood Bank at St. Paul Lutheran Church, where Stephanie has attended since she was a child.

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