Life saving donation

Joey DeWaard

NORA SPRINGS, Iowa –  Normally, the LifeServe Blood Center has a blood supply of three to five days.

Right now?

There is just a one day supply on hand throughout a three state region, and it’s impacting more than a hundred hospitals.

When a local mom heard this, she knew she had to share her family’s story, about how blood donations changed their lives.

Meet Joey DeWaard.

He’s six and a half, and is one healthy first grader, but just about six and a half years ago when Joey was born, he struggled with some health problems.

“It was horrible. I mean nobody wants to go through that but Iowa City is a really good hospital you just kind of go with it, just go day to day,” said Ashley DeWaard, Joey’s mom.

Joey was born with pulmonary hypertension and respiratory distress.

He was flown to Des Moines and then taken to Iowa City.

After being placed into an induced coma, Joey was hooked up and received a form of ECMO treatment.

That means blood was drained from his body, and oxygen was put back into those cells, outside of the body, and is later returned.

During that process, blood transfusions are needed, and it was donated blood from strangers, that helped save her son’s life.

“You can’t really describe how it makes you feel obviously but it makes us really grateful that people would donate their blood. I don’t think they realize always where it’s goes to and the lives that it does save,” said Ashley.

Which is exactly why those like Beth Phillips, the Public Relations Manager for LifeServeBloodCenter, needs your help.

“It is worry-some. We pride ourselves as being great stewards of the blood supply so we like to be between a three to five day level and when we get to a less than one that’s when we ramp up our collection and recruitment efforts,” said Phillips.

Phillips says its stories like Joey’s that should give you a reason to take ten minutes out of your day to donate.

“Well it’s because it helps the health and well being of those in our community. It really is a way to give back. It’s selflessly, it costs you no money things you can do in your life for the benefit is that profound where you’re actually saving lives,” said Phillips.

And that message lives, in this little boy.

“It saves a lot of lives. It saves little lives and it saves big lives too,” said Ashley.

If you are interested in donating blood you can go to

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