Vitalant hosts blood drive in honor of state trooper

HARLINGEN — Amid hectic schedules, several Department of Public Safety troopers could be seen in full uniform filtering in and out of the hospital room.

They were there to help save lives and support their colleague.

Vitalant held a replenishment blood drive yesterday, at the Valley Baptist Medical Center in honor of Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Moises Sanchez, who was shot while he was on duty in Edinburg this past Saturday.

The goals for the blood drive were to raise awareness and support for those in need of blood transfusions in the Valley.

Vitalant donor recruitment manager Heather Jex said her staff felt touched by a candlelight vigil held this week for Sanchez.

“We asked ourselves what we could do to help and a replenishment drive was a very good way to show that support because blood is needed and used on a regular basis here in the Valley,” Jex explained. “This is something people can do in his name to be a hero.”

Oscar Gonzalez, 48, from La Feria, has been donating blood about six times a year for the past 30 years.

“This is my effort to support my community,” Gonzalez explained. “I think it’s our duty to do these selfless acts and everyone should donate any chance they can.”

Jex said she’s seen an amazing outpouring of support from law enforcement agencies.

As per their contract, law enforcement officers at the blood drive were unable to comment.

Within the first hour of the blood drive, 33 people donated.

Among those donating was Maurice Converse, whose daughter was in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds.

According to Jex, one in three people will need a blood donation or blood transfusion in their lifetime.

“Things happen here all of the time such as car accidents and traumas,” she explained. “So, we need these blood donations because without them hospital patients won’t make it.”

Did you know?

• One in three people will need a blood donation or blood transfusion in their lifetime.

• Every donation can save up to three adults or 12 premature babies.

Interested in donating?

WHERE — Vitalant, 610 North Ed Carey Drive, Harlingen

OPEN — Monday through Saturday

PHONE — (956) 216-8080