Archives For Blood Supply

Woman is one of two people in state with rare type of platelet

GILFORD, N.H. — A Gilford woman spent the last quarter-century donating life-saving platelets to help newborns.

Donna Dietrich has donated platelets twice a week for 25 years.

She is one of only two people in the state with a rare type of platelets called PAL-1 negative. They are used to help newborns with blood problems during delivery and immediately after birth.

The donation takes about two hours, and Dietrich said she can’t think of a better way to spend her time.

“How could you not want to start your day saving a child’s life? I mean for me it’s overwhelming. I come here with my friends and they help me give a mommy and daddy back their baby, a grammy and grampy back their baby,” she said. “That’s incredible. How could you not want to do that?”

Dietrich said she donates in honor of her 3-year-old granddaughter who has a rare blood disorder.

Girl’s heart surgery delayed after shortage 

BOSTON — The American Red Cross collected 700 units of blood at a drive at the TD Garden Sunday. Organizers say it is a much higher amount than expected and credit a Billerica girl for getting donors out.

Watch NewsCenter 5 report

Eight-year-old Jacqueline Rogers was scheduled for her second open-heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital last Friday. The surgery was postponed at the last minute because there was a shortage of her blood type — O negative.

“I guess it’s because the little girl caught me. She needed O negative and I have O negative,” said Jacob Nazarian III, one of Sunday’s donors. “So I decided to take a trip down and see if I could help her.”

Nazarian drove to Boston from Buzzards Bay after he saw Rogers’ story on NewsCenter 5.

“To do a favor for somebody means an awful lot to me and it should mean an awful lot to other people, too,” Nazarian said.

Rogers’ surgery is rescheduled for Wednesday.

Click here for more on how to donate blood.

Children’s Hospital low on O negative blood

BILLERICA, Mass. — Eight-year-old Jacqueline Rogers of Billerica needs those with O negative blood to consider donating at Boston Children’s Hospital so that doctors can operate on her heart, news partner Wicked Local reports.

Watch NewsCenter 5’s report

According to her mother Valerie, Jacqueline’s open heart surgery, scheduled for Friday, was postponed due to a shortage of O negative blood at the hospital, the only blood type her body can receive

“We were going up to the third floor in the hospital this morning and my husband got a call on his cell phone at 6 a.m. saying there was not enough blood to safely operate on Jacqueline,” said Valerie Rogers on Friday afternoon. “We never even thought this would be an issue. It didn’t even cross my mind, especially living in Boston.”

“I knew she could only take blood from O negative,” said Valerie. “But a shortage never even crossed our minds. We just had a pipe burst and were worried about that and germs in school given that it is flu season. We were not worried about a shortage.”

According to the hospital’s blood donor center website, “Boston Children’s Hospital is experiencing a shortage of O negative blood and has extended the blood donor center’s hours on Sunday, Jan. 19 to take donors until 5:30 p.m.”

O negative blood types are universal donors but those with O negative blood can only receive that type.

Valerie was told by doctors Friday morning that an emergency occurred overnight that diminished the hospital’s O negative supply.

“I am happy that they had the blood to save someone’s life but can’t believe there is no more blood for my daughter,” Valerie said. “There is a real need for O negative blood donors. We hope that we can increase awareness for the donation of blood.”

“I am sure we were not the only O negative surgery that was canceled,” Valerie added.

Valerie, who has O negative, donated at the hospital’s blood donor center before leaving Boston Friday morning. She added that some moms from Billerica, who heard of their plight, also drove into Boston and donated Friday morning.

Jacqueline was diagnosed with complex congenital heart defects in utero. She underwent her first open heart surgery at two days old at Boston Children’s Hospital. Since then she has endured seven surgeries and hospitalizations. Jacqueline will require a lifetime of monitoring and surgeries. With this surgery next week, Valerie said, doctors are “hoping to put an adult-size catheter in her heart this time.”

The Rogers family was mentally and physically prepared for the surgery. The family had rented a hotel room across the street from the hospital for the week to be close to their daughter. They completed all of the pre-op tests. Jacqueline was all dressed up in an outfit covered with hearts, an outfit her mother put together to get her mind off of the surgery.

Valerie said her daughter was upset at first when she heard of the postponement.

“But she rolls with the punches,” Valerie said. “She is doing OK and knows that she will be going in next week. She knows that her heart will be fixed again.”

The Kennedy Elementary School third grader is very active and loves to dance, swim, and do gymnastics. All of that is on hold until after her surgery, which has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 22. The surgery is expected to take six to eight hours.

Jacqueline will spend seven to 10 days in the hospital following the surgery. Then she will be home for a couple of weeks and without activities for an additional four to six weeks.

“Everything is on hold – her swimming, dance, fun club at the Boys and Girls Club, gymnastics,” said Valerie.

The Boston Children’s Hospital Blood Bank is located at 333 Longwood Ave., across the street from the hospital. The bank has extended its Sunday hours this weekend – accepting donors from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. – in hopes of getting more donations.

Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are recommended. Call 617-355-6677 or book online at

The hospital also has a Bloodmobile that goes to different locations every weekend. This Saturday the Bloodmobile is in Stoughton.