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Jenn – Middletown, Delaware

Jenn Boileau

“I received a blood transfusion when I gave birth to my first daughter, and it saved my life,” said Jenn Boileau of Middletown.

After a generally normal pregnancy, a delivery which began fairly well on Dec. 21, 2002, took a dramatic turn. Jenn’s labor became extremely difficult and prolonged. Her baby, Taylor, was very large, got stuck in the birth canal, and in a life-saving measure, doctors had to break her clavicle in order to deliver her.

Jenn felt fine the first few hours after delivery – weak and tired to be sure – but later began experiencing extreme pain in her abdomen.

“The pain was unlike anything I had ever encountered. Honestly, it felt like I was going to deliver another baby,” she said.

So she buzzed the nurse, who entered the room to a terrible sight – Jenn was in the midst of a postpartum hemorrhage. Her uterus had never contracted after the delivery. Instead, it kept filling with blood, and Jenn was passing massive, grapefruit-sized clots of blood.

She was transferred to the ICU, where efforts to stop the bleeding began immediately. At one point, Jenn heard a physician say, “If this bleeding doesn’t get under control, we’re going to have to do an emergency hysterectomy” – horrifying words to a 28-year-old, first-time mother who wanted more children.

At that point, nurses rushed in with bags of blood, and the transfusion began.

“Everything settled down. My body calmed down,” she said. “I remember looking at the bags of blood, thinking ‘thank you, thank you’ to whoever had given me this second chance.”

Jenn stabilized. She was able to leave the hospital less than two days later.

“When it happened, it was fast and the blood was right there. If there was no blood, I would’ve had a hysterectomy, and I would’ve never had my other two daughters. I never thought I’d be a blood recipient. You never think you’re going to need it. The blood saved me, and my life with my family would not be what it is today.”