Robb Elementary survivor Mayah Zamora reunited with lifesaving blood donors

Mayah Zamora is on the road to recovery more than 8 months after the Robb tragedy.

SAN ANTONIO – Mayah Zamora spent over two months in the hospital following the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde on May 24, 2022.

Now, 10-year-old Mayah is meeting with her lifesaving blood donors and using her voice to encourage others to donate.

“Mayah is strong and resilient,” said Adrienne Mendoza, chief operating officer of the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center (STBTC). “You would not know meeting her that she is the survivor of unthinkable violence perpetrated on the most innocent.”

It was an emotional reunion Saturday for young Mayah and her family with the people who saved her life.

“If we didn’t have the blood she had available to her, she wouldn’t be here today,” said Christina Zamora, Mayah’s mother.

Mayah spent 66 days in the hospital following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary after being shot multiple times in her arms, hands, back and chest.

Air medics worked tirelessly to stabilize her on the flight from Uvalde to San Antonio.

“Mayah, you made us work. Yeah, it was a busy, busy 30 minutes. It’s so incredible to see you here today,” one of the air paramedics said.

“Well how else would you make money? Gotta work,” Mayah said.

Dr. Ronald Stewart was one of Mayah’s doctors at University Hospital. He’s a trauma specialist and an advocate for whole blood transfusions like the one Mayah got while inside the helicopter.

Seeing Mayah at the donor pavilion made Stewart proud.

“It’s literally what profession we live to do. It’s worth more than I can describe,” said Dr. Stewart, senior trauma surgeon for University Health and chair of surgery for University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Now that Mayah has a second chance at life, she can chase all of her dreams, whether that’s painting, dancing or animals.

“Always live your dream because you never know what life is gonna end,” Mayah said. “You never know when you’re gonna — you know.”

Mayah’s reunion with her donors comes as the STBTC celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Brothers In Arms program with a rebranding.

Now called Heroes In Arms, the program is allowing female donors for the first time.

The program allows first responders on ambulances and in medical helicopters to keep whole blood on hand so they can perform blood transfusions in the field in trauma situations.

A medical study published shows the use of whole blood helps reduce mortality by 48% in trauma patients.

Antoinette Brumfield was the first female donor in the program.

“It’s just amazing. Like, I can’t even put into words the opportunity I’m being given today, and hopefully, it’ll just help someone with their life,” Brumfield said.

Tina Boldt, an employee with STBTC, was the second female donor.

“Life is so precious and we have the ability, every human being, to help others and give the gift of life. So I’m just so elated to be a part of that program,” Boldt said.

To qualify, you need to have O-positive blood and be tested for levels of specific antibodies.

You can get tested at the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center. Register here.

Find more Uvalde coverage from here

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.

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