Chicago mother says blood donations, transfusions saved her during complicated birth

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A blood donation could save the life of a young mother like Laketa Hendrix, who experienced major complications during the birth of her first child.

"It was a traumatic experience," she said.

Now, sitting on the couch of their Chicago home, Brandon and Laketa Hendrix are able to discuss the trauma of Ari's 2019 birth.

"I ended up losing a lot of blood," Laketa Hendrix said.

"I didn't know, I was, like, kind of unaware of how dire the situation was across the room," said Brandon Hendrix.

Watching his wife struggle, Brandon was forced to think of the worst.

"Man, I'm gonna gain a child and lose my wife," he recalled thinking.

Laketa said that while the birth experience was rewarding it was also scary, and the only things that offered relief were blood transfusions and a bag of iron.

"After I got those two things, that's when I started feeling like I was healing from the trauma my body had just went through having my son," she said.

Baby Ari is now a happy and healthy 2-year-old, and even has a new baby sister.

"She's nine months and the delivery was smooth," Laketa said. "Super smooth."

But even with a smooth second delivery, she knows how critical blood donations are for mothers in labor.

"For people like me, who'd be eternally grateful for that sacrifice," she said.

To pay it forward, Brandon gives blood as much as he can.

If you'd like to donate blood, sign up for the Great Chicago Blood Drive on Jan. 12-13 in various locations.
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