In honor of Ruby and Everett Cotter, a blood drive is being hosted by the New York Blood Center on Thursday. Both siblings, from Wading River, underwent life-saving heart transplants. Between 2019 and 2022, Ruby and Everett received heart transplants and relied on blood donations during their treatment. Now, their family is urging the community to donate blood in order to give other patients a similar fighting chance. The blood drive will take place at 250B Route 25A in Shoreham from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 1-800-933-2566 or visiting the donation link provided. For those unable to donate blood, they can still support the New York Blood Center by texting ‘NYBC’ to ‘20222’ to make a $25 donation.
The New York Blood Center highlights that the month of December poses challenges in collecting blood donations due to school breaks, family vacations, holiday travel, and cold weather. However, hospitals and patients rely on a steady flow of volunteer donors to receive life-saving blood donations. The organization notes that there has been a 50 percent decrease in youth donors since before the pandemic. Blood donors can donate every 56 days, while platelet donors can donate twice per month. Recent changes in eligibility guidelines by the Food and Drug Administration have also lifted several restrictions. The Cotter family has faced extraordinary challenges, with both Ruby and Everett requiring heart transplants. However, they have experienced Christmas miracles as both children have thrived after their life-saving surgeries. Last year, the family celebrated Christmas with all four members together at home, marking a special and meaningful milestone.