San Antonio mother hopes sharing her story will encourage others to donate blood

Hospital blood supply orders are up as much as 20%

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio mother is hoping sharing her story will encourage others to be blood donors and give the gift of life this holiday season.

Ashley Byrnes suffered from a blood clot and hemorrhaging two weeks after giving birth to her son. She ended up needing 19 bags of blood and four bags of plasma during an emergency surgery.

She knows that each of those bags represents a person who donated.

“You’re saving someone’s life or you’re helping someone that needs blood for different illness that they’re overcoming,” Byrnes said. “But either way, all in all, you are saving a life and you can leave it feeling good about yourself that you did something great in the day and in the world to help someone else.”

The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center said they especially need donors over the holidays when donations typically decrease. One reason for the decrease is due to high school and college students being on break. That population makes up 30% of all donations.

While donations are down, the need for blood has increased. This year, the hospital blood orders are up as much as 20%. Donations often make a difference between life and death.

Due to the amount of blood she received, Byrnes cannot donate blood, so instead, she shares her story as a blood donor advocate. She hopes her story will inspire others to roll up their sleeves.

STBTC has several donor rooms throughout San Antonio. For a link to make an appointment click here.

About the Authors:

Alexsis Page has been a News Producer at KSAT since 2019. A former military brat, she was born in Killeen, raised in El Paso, but calls Lawton, Oklahoma, home. She began her journalism career as an editor and later news producer at KSWO in Lawton and also produced at WICS/WRSP in Springfield, Illinois.

Valerie Gomez is the lead video editor and graphic artist for KSAT Explains. Before starting at KSAT in 2017, she worked as a video editor for KENS 5 and KVUE in Austin. She graduated from Texas State University in 2013 with a bachelor's in mass communication and is a product of SAISD and the South Side of San Antonio. She loves Jeff Goldblum.