Jan 1, 2024

Be the One — help save a life

Pat Michaels, director of OneBlood media and public relations, never tires of promoting the importance of donating blood during January, National Blood Donor Month — or actually any month.

“Giving blood is one of the most profound gifts a human can give,” Michaels said. “Within a few days, a blood donation is affecting someone’s way of life and in many cases, is actually saving someone’s life. Just talk to Randy Scheiffer of Navarre.”

Back in 2020, Scheiffer was given a 3 percent chance of survival after he was in a comma for three weeks and suffering from many complications, spending a total of six weeks in Baptist Hospital with coronavirus.

“I am so sorry. I still get emotional talking about this,” said Scheiffer, 71. “If it wasn’t for my daughter, Louisa, urging the doctors to give me convalescent plasma and for the special donor and One Blood, I don’t believe I would be here. I credit my remarkable recovery to a transfusion of COVID-19 convalescent plasma.”

Basically, people who recover from COVID-19 have antibodies in their blood, according to Johns Hopkins Public Health. Those patients can then donate their plasma to others for treatment.

“At the time, the idea was so new and experimental,” Scheiffer recalled. “Once it was agreed that the doctors would try it, we had to find a donor. We teamed up with OneBlood. With the help of everyone at OneBlood, we were able to find a donor, a priest in Pensacola. OneBlood really went out of their way to help my family, and to help me survive.”

Survive he did.

“Within four days of receiving the convalescent plasma, I was off everything,” Scheiffer said. “Off dialysis. Off the ventilator. It’s so true that all it takes to save a life is for one person to step up.”

Today, Scheiffer’s simple request is the same: “I ask everyone to donate and see how many people you can help.”

Michaels says to consider these facts:

One in three of us will need a blood transfusion.

A single car accident victim can require 100 pints of blood.

You can donate platelets every seven days up to 24 times a year.

Platelets help stop bleeding in people who have transplant or cardiac surgeries.

A+, B+, O+, AB+, and AB- are blood types recommended for platelet donation.

Give the gift of life

Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, according to the American Red Cross. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, traumatic injuries and more. Blood cannot be manufactured, so your help is essential, according to OneBlood. Information provided below can help you get you started.


You can donate blood at one of the listed donor centers, participate in a blood drive, or host a blood drive. To learn more, go to donorportal.oneblood.org.

1999 E. Nine Mile Road, Pensacola, 850-473-3858

2209 N. Ninth Ave., Pensacola, 850-434-2535

American Red Cross

You can get a Be a Hero Donor Guide, schedule a blood donation, participate in a blood drive or host one. To schedule a donation and learn more, go to redcrossblood.org.