Breaking News:

YOUR LIFE YOUR HEALTH

How blood donations saved a Utah man’s life

Jan 12, 2023, 5:57 PM | Updated: Jan 13, 2023, 9:36 am

SALT LAKE CITYJanuary is National Blood Donor Month, and it serves as a reminder that only 3% of the U.S. population donates blood.

Blood donation saves lives, like that of 67-year-old Duke Speer in 2021.

In March of that year, Speer was in a car accident on his way home from work. He was flown in a medical helicopter to Intermountain Medical Center, where CPR was performed for 17 minutes and he lost 22 units of blood.

“In essence, dying on the operating room table,” Speer said. “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the sizable blood bank that was available.”

One blood donation can save two to three lives. It’s a ripple effect that Speer said he is thankful for.

“You never know the impact that you have. The life you save might be your own someday,” he said.

Dr. Sarah Ilstrup, clinical pathology medical director for Intermountain Healthcare, said while only 3% of eligible donors donate, in January, that number goes down even more.

“If all eligible people showed up to give, we would have to donate less often,” she said. “It’s worth it because the difference it makes in people’s lives is nothing short of extraordinary.”

That is true for Speer’s life — before the accident, he was an avid skier, and just over a year after the accident, he was able to get back on the slopes.

“I don’t have the strength to get myself off the ski lift, but I can operate a sit ski,” he said.

Now, nearly two years since the accident, he said he is thankful for the doctors and donors who saved his life.

“An experience like this changes the way you look at things. So many things you used to take for granted now become valuable,” Speer said.

For more information on where you can donate, click here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Your Life Your Health

"Way to Wellness" is a CDC-approved diabetes prevention program through Intermountain Health. The y...

Emma Benson

Intermountain program helping patients find their ‘Way to Wellness’

'Way to Wellness' is a CDC-approved diabetes prevention program through Intermountain Health. "It helps them to actually become more independent in their health," Melanie Holden, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Intermountain Health, said.

5 days ago

It's a fun way to celebrate Independence Day, but experts are reminding us: if not 
 handled proper...

Emma Benson

Fireworks safety tips for Fourth of July

It's a fun way to celebrate Independence Day, but experts are reminding us: if not handled properly, fireworks can be dangerous.

13 days ago

The new comprehensive cancer center at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden....

Emma Benson

New Intermountain cancer center brings care to northern Utah patients

When it comes to treating cancer, having access to state-of-the-art specialized care near you can make all the difference.

19 days ago

Tom Nehring practicing his punches against a punching bag with another boxer....

Emma Benson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

‘This is medicine for me’: A Utah man is battling Parkinson’s with boxing

An interactive class is helping those effected by Parkinson’s disease by keeping them active with boxing.

26 days ago

(FILE) An audiologist preforming an a  hearing test. (KSL TV)...

Emma Benson

Listen up! The health consequences of untreated hearing loss

Around 600,000 people in Utah have hearing loss, but many may not realize they do until they're tested and how it can affect their health.

1 month ago

Kenneth Applegate was diagnosed with high blood pressure. (Courtesy: Kenneth Applegate)...

Emma Benson

Utah dad’s journey from hypertension to health

At age 25, Applegate was diagnosed with high blood pressure. At first, he didn't think it was a big deal, until things became more serious.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

How blood donations saved a Utah man’s life