Mom Shares Story of Survival Thanks to Gift of Blood Donors

Kala Breder was inspired to donate blood after her third pregnancy nearly took her life. This pregnancy was very different for Kala. It was during the coronavirus pandemic, which took a toll on restaurants everywhere. Her restaurant, The Red Light Bar & Grill in Quincy, Illinois, suffered an economic impact. But it was not the only hurdle she faced, during the last two months of her pregnancy, she had to stop working and was placed on bed rest.

In July 2020, Kala was seven months pregnant when her baby became unresponsive, requiring her to have an emergency C-section. After the operation, her son was airlifted to St. Louis for further evaluation. Kala was required to stay in the hospital one more day. About 12 hours after her C-Section, Kala went unconscious due to extensive bleeding. Her body went into DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation), a condition in which small blood clots develop in the blood stream blocking blood vessels and depleting platelets.

“It was a frightening experience. Out of nowhere my uterus just gave out,” Kala says.

When she woke up, she found out she had received 32 units of blood to keep her alive long enough to be airlifted to St. Louis. Although she received the blood she needed to stay alive, the doctors did not think she was going to make it and had already informed her husband about the possibility. Once they touched down in St. Louis, Kala felt significantly better and was stable from that point on.

“One of my first questions was how can I donate and when can I do it,” Kala says.

Kala had never donated blood before. Due to her size, she had never been able to meet the weight requirement for blood donations. It had never crossed her mind to donate until she saw the lifesaving impact it had on her. Now, Kala has a life goal to donate back the 32 units of blood she received to help give someone another chance at life.

“If I had only received one unit of blood, it wouldn’t have been enough. I needed all 32 to help make that turn around,” Kala says.

Kala’s recovery was a tough one. She had to learn how to walk and dress herself again, through physical therapy to build up her strength and get back on her feet.

Today, Kala and her baby are doing well. She’s dedicated her time to blood drives and encouraging family and friends to do the same. She feels blood donations have not only given her another chance at life but have also changed her family’s perspective. Waking up every day is something she doesn’t take for granted. She is reminded not to stress over the little things in life.

“If it weren’t for the generosity of blood donors, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Kala says. “I’m trying to live life in a way that would make those who donated proud.”

If you are healthy and feeling well, visit redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointment to donate.

Written by Communications & Marketing Intern, Matthew Pontious

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