St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital
6720 Bertner Ave.
Houston, Texas 77030

Transplant Family "Rallies
Troops" for Blood Donation
People will never know the importance
and the value of their sacrifices of giving
blood products for our son Jacob. The
very first night of the transplant, Jacob
required more than 24 units of blood.
From that day forward, we didn't know
what lie ahead, but each day we had extra
with Jacob was attributed to the more
than 1,900 units of blood products given
by people throughout the Houston,
Baytown and Baton Rouge areas. The
172 days we had extra with Jacob,
though hard for all of us, was because
people took time to give. You know if
you are one of those people. Linda and I
are forever grateful and even to this day
do not forget your kindness through the
hardest times of our life.

Joel, Linda, Matt and Lacey Bankston  
Since April 28, when their son Jacob received a heart transplant,
Linda and Joel Bankston have set new records for blood donation.
Not that they gave it all themselves.  Through a network of family,
friends, co-workers, church members, and others, they sent out
the message that blood was needed.  The response was
overwhelming, said Arthur Bracey, M.D., medical director, St.
Luke's Blood Bank.
"At one point, so many people wanted to give platelets on Jacob
Bankston's behalf that we had them waiting in line," said Dr.
Bracey "I want all the physicians on the medical staff of St. Luke's
to hear about the Bankston family because I believe we can all
help with the blood shortage by taking the time to encourage
families to participate in meeting the blood needs of their loved
Shirley Riggs, M.D., Hematology, reported that she met the
Bankstons after they had already arranged blood drives to replace
the blood used in his transplantation surgery.
"We told them how much we appreciated their efforts," she said,
"and when Jacob later developed a complication requiring multiple
platelet transfusions, his family rallied to the occasion with enough
platelet donors for jacob and several other patients who needed
platelets at the same time!  We are very grateful for families like the
Included in the Bankstons' network were their parents, siblings
and cousins.  One cousin called the rest of the extended family
Another relative posted information on the Internet.  Church
leaders told their congregations.  Jacob's girlfriend called radio
stations.  Nurses from St. Luke's Recovery area, as well as other
caregivers, took time to give.  Joel Bankston's employer, Exxon
Mobil Oil, supported the effort with a blood drive at the Baton
Rouge Refining and Chemical site as well as the Baytown Refining
and Chemical sites and the downtown Exxon complex.
"Throughout this long process, my company has given my family
more support than we could have imagined-including allowing me
to move here from Baton Rouge and continue my work
long-distance," said Mr. Bankston.  "Also, the Heart Exchange
provided an apartment for us during this hard time-and so many
people have come forward to help us.
Physicians with questions or comments related to blood donation
may contact Dr. Bracey at (713) 791-2782.

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