COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A Colorado Springs mother is encouraging everyone to give blood this month in honor of Mother's Day after her own life was saved by blood donations during childbirth.
A total of 48 units of blood and multiple plasma transfusions helped save Nicole Hall’s life when she experienced an unexpected and life threatening birth complication while delivering her third child, Haxton.
"I love pregnancy and delivery, it's my favorite thing," said Hall. "And never once did it cross my mind that I would die that day.”
While in the hospital prepping for delivery, Hall started to feel nauseous and hot.
"I remember my husband then telling me, 'I'll go get you a cold washcloth,'" said Hall. "Then the nurse turned me over to my left side, and that's the last thing I remember.”
Hall was suffering from complication that affects about 1 in 40,000 pregnancies a year called amniotic fluid embolism (AFE). That's when amniotic fluid enters the blood stream and causes somewhat of an allergic reaction.
The reaction put Hall into cardiac arrest and she was flatlined on the hospital bed for seven long minutes.
Luckily, an ER doctor ran over to help and performed an emergency C-section.
“That's when I started profusely bleeding out, said Hall. "So then I went into disseminated intravascular coagulation, or DIC, where your blood is not clotting. They then started the massive blood transfusion protocol at my hospital and started running blood continuously. At that point they had told my husband, 'You know, right before then we were doing a postmortem C-section... Would you want to gown up so you can kiss your wife goodbye?'”
Miraculously, those blood transfusions — made up of donations from every day people — saved Hall and her baby’s lives.
"I am so grateful and so thankful for these donors," said Hall. "I wish I could thank them individually because they not only allowed me to meet my son, but they allowed my children to not grow up without a mom. They also allowed it to where my husband isn't a widower and he's able to keep his wife and not be a single dad raising three kids."
Hall says blood donations gave her a second chance at life and now uses her story to encourage others to pay it forward and donate blood.
"You never think you're going to be that person that it would happen to, until you're that rare case,” said Hall.
Hall is now so passionate about blood donation, that she even hosts blood drives. She’ll be hosting a drive for Mother’s Day in partnership with Vitalant and UCHealth on May 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The drive is taking place at Memorial Health System - MAC - Classroom A&B, at 2420 E Pikes Peak Ave. in Colorado Springs. If you're interested in signing up, click here for availability.
Throughout the month of May, Vitalant is partnering with women’s health advocates, Colorado hospitals, and the community to honor and support women who have experienced pregnancy-related complications through the 'Donate for Mothers' campaign this May.
Health officials say blood transfusions help patients in need and are especially critical for women who experience emergencies during pregnancy.
Between May 1 and 31, select hospital blood drives and all nine Colorado Vitalant donation centers will be participating in 'Donate for Mothers.'
All donors who give during Mother’s Day weekend, May 6 - 8, 2022, will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card redeemable by email.
To schedule an appointment with Vitalant or find a blood drive near you, click here.