Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Aimee Copeland Inspires Many to Donate Blood

The recent blood drive in honor of Aimee Copeland at the University of West Georgia exceeded expectations so much that the school and the Shepeard Community Blood Center will team up to host another one.

In all, 163 people registered to donate blood on May 15. Blood was drawn from 127 people and 113 good units were collected, said Pamela Rascon, director of community resources, for the Shepeard Community Blood Center.

Because of the wait time, 15 people had to leave. Another 75 left their names and telephone numbers for the second blood drive, which will be on the UWG campus on Friday, June 1, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. It will be in the HPE Gym, across the street from the UWG bookstore.

“The University of West Georgia community wishes to thank all of the people who donated blood in honor of Aimee Copeland. We are very grateful for their support,” said Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, president of the university and professor of business administration.

“We continue to send our very best wishes for her recovery and ask everyone to keep her in their thoughts and prayers as she continues her fight,” he said.

Copeland, a UWG graduate student in psychology, contracted a rare bacterial infection after the homemade zip line she was on snapped, sending her into the Little Tallapoosa River on May 1. To save her life, doctors amputated Copeland’s leg. She is undergoing treatment at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga.

“On behalf of Shepeard Community Blood Center, the Copelands, our service hospitals and patients in need, a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ for such a warm and welcome response Tuesday at the University of West Georgia,” Rascon said. “We see now why Aimee loves the environment so much: such a beautiful campus, such a warm feeling of fellowship and such an outpouring of love from the community.”

Copeland received blood as part of her treatment at the JMS Burn Center. Her family and friends want to honor her and help the many patients there by donating blood to the Shepeard Community Blood Center, Rascon said. “We are humbled and amazed at their [the Copelands] strength and ability to look beyond their personal situation and even desire to step out for a cause with their beautiful daughter in crisis.”

Shepeard is the contracted provider of the blood used by the JMS Burn Center.  Blood donations will help Shepeard rebuild the supply at the JMS Burn Center and the 20 local hospitals it serves.

Richard E. La Fleur, a friend and fellow graduate student in UWG’s Department of Psychology, spoke with Andy Cooper, her father, on May 16. “Aimee wanted to read yesterday. Her sister Paige got a book on meditation and read almost the entire book to Aimee,” La Fleur said. “Aimee did all the mediations her sister asked her to do. Andy said it was a great day for Aimee.”

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