‘It’s a gift’: San Antonio mom shares her story, hopes more ‘Heroes’ donate blood through program

In 2022, Jennifer Brudnicki received a life-saving blood transfusion on her way to the hospital. Now, she’s the mother of four and calling for more people to donate blood.

SAN ANTONIO – As a mother of four, Jennifer Brudnicki said she’s trying to make every moment count with her family.

“It’s a gift,” Brudnicki said. “It worked and it made me healthy again.”

Brudnicki is one of thousands of whole blood recipients in South Central Texas, and is among those who have survived because of it. Whole blood helps to treat patients with severe blood loss before they arrive at the hospital.

The blood is stored in some helicopters, hospitals and San Antonio Fire Department medical vehicles, but the blood comes from donors across the region through South Texas Blood & Tissue’s Heroes in Arms program.

“It’s a race against the clock,” William Bullock, a specialized program coordinator with South Texas Blood & Tissue, said. “When someone is bleeding to death, whatever origin, medical or trauma, there is only so much time.”

The Heroes in Arms program began in 2018. San Antonio was the first city in the U.S. to transfer whole blood to patients by prehospital medics. KSAT has covered the program and its growth since it first started.

As the program celebrates its sixth year, recipients and survivors like Brudnicki are calling for more donors to help.

“You’re saving people’s families, you’re saving people’s lives and it really matters,” Brudnicki said. “It’s not just something that gets put back in a fridge forever and gets forgotten about. This is a need that keeps giving.”

In 2022, Brudnicki suffered a miscarriage. She had to call 911 for help. During her ride in an ambulance, Brudnicki received an immediate transfusion of whole blood.

“I started hemorrhaging immediately, and I did not stop until I got to the hospital,” Brudnicki said. “As soon as it came, I remember everything became a lot clearer.”

On Thursday night, Brudnicki met the two first responders who helped her that night. She also met George King, who donated the blood she received.

“Eighty-seven years and I have never felt like this ever,” King said after hugging Brudnicki.

Blood donations are already critically low across the country. On the anniversary of its program, South Texas Blood & Tissue is warning of the dire need for blood donors to help stock ambulances and hospitals for emergencies.

If you are interested in donating, click here.

More blood donation coverage on KSAT:

About the Author

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

Recommended Videos