Blood Drive Thursday Commemorates Heart Transplants For Siblings

A blood drive is set to be held in Shoreham, NY, on Thursday to honor the remarkable journey of Ruby and Everett Cotter, siblings from Wading River who underwent life-saving heart transplants. Both children were diagnosed with the same heart condition as infants and received heart transplants between 2019 and 2022 with the help of numerous blood donations. In an effort to give other patients the same fighting chance, the Cotter family is urging their community to donate blood. The New York Blood Center (NYBC) will host the drive from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 250B Route 25A in Shoreham.

The need for blood donations is particularly urgent during the month of December due to factors such as school breaks, family vacations, holiday travel, and inclement weather, according to NYBC. Hospital patients heavily rely on a steady supply of volunteer donors to receive these life-saving donations. Unfortunately, the past two years have brought about chronic blood shortages across the country. The NYBC has seen a 50 percent decrease in youth donors since before the pandemic. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently lifted several blood donor eligibility restrictions, it is crucial for more individuals to step up and donate blood, as they can give every 56 days. Platelet donors can give twice per month. For those unable to donate blood, supporting NYBC’s mission is still possible by texting ‘NYBC’ to ‘20222’ to give $25.

The Cotter family has faced unimaginable challenges over the years. Two years after Ruby received her heart transplant, they were told that their second child, Everett, also known as Buddy, needed a new heart. However, in a heartwarming turn of events, both children defied the odds and thrived after their life-saving surgeries. Last year, the family experienced the joy of having all four members home together for Christmas, marking a truly special moment after enduring a difficult journey. The Cotters express their eternal gratitude for the support they have received along the way.

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