STANTON, Del. – The Christiana Donor Center had a family theme on Thursday, February 1 as Leighann Coupe, her boyfriend, Matthew Lutz, and her father, John Coupe donated whole blood together.

Smiling blood donor with his child at the Christiana Donor Center.

Leighann is a New Castle County paramedic, and she was on the crew that administered the first, pre-hospital whole blood unit out in the field for New Castle County Paramedics.

“I just happened to be on the unit,” she said. “I figured I have to do this part too. I can’t just give it out there.”

And she’s O positive as well, which is the blood type needed for the low titer whole blood used by paramedics.

She takes after her father, an O positive whole blood donor.

“I’ve been giving since 1979,” John said. “I go off an on as a lifesaver, but she got me started up again a few years back. I said, fine, I’ll go with you. I knew we were due.”

Leighann, along with Public Information Officer Abby Haas, was part of the New Castle County Paramedics that received Philadelphia Phillies game tickets for presenting to donate at a Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) location last summer.

Two smiling blood donors with BBD staff member.

As for Lutz, donating with his girlfriend and her father reminded him of his own, familial connection to BBD.

“I used to do this with my mom,” he said.

Also donating on Thursday was Karen James, who was inspired by her daughter, Rachel, to donate for the first time in a while. Rachel donated at Saint Mark’s High School’s blood drive in November as one of the school’s first 16-year-olds to donate.

“It’s a generational story, really,” James said. “I wanted to help someone else, with her in mind. She inspired me!”

Earlier this winter, Joe and Cindy Amon came in to donate together, as they usually do, on January 4. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Amon for saving lives, and thank you to all our donors helping us get through the wintertime.