Faces of Cedars-Sinai: Kim Coleman, Heart Recipient and Nurse
Feb 09, 2017 Cedars-Sinai Staff
As a registered nurse at Cedars-Sinai, Kim Coleman has devoted her career to helping other people.
But when she learned she would need a heart transplant, she found herself on the receiving end of the generosity of others. For the operation to succeed, it was critical to have enough blood available.
The procedure required a minimum of four units of red cells, two units of plasma and two units of platelets. Fortunately, Cedars-Sinai had them, thanks to the generosity of numerous blood, platelet, and plasma donors.
"You would not believe the number of lives you can touch and save."
Although they may be strangers to her, those donors helped save Coleman’s life. Coleman’s experience, in turn, has inspired many of her friends to donate blood so it will be available for other patients when they need it.
“When I found out that several of my friends were O-positive and O-negative, I encouraged them to donate blood,” Coleman says.
Type O blood is always in high demand since it is considered universally acceptable to patients with any blood type. It’s also particularly critical in emergency and surgical settings when finding cross-matched blood could take too long to save a patient’s life.
Coleman wants to spread the message that blood donors save lives. “If you’re sitting on the fence about whether or not you want to donate, I would strongly encourage you to do so,” she says. “Go to Cedars-Sinai or your local hospital. You would not believe the number of lives you can touch and save.”
She continues to be grateful for those strangers who helped Cedars-Sinai surgeons save her life. “If I could say something to my blood donors, I would just say thank you, because without them I wouldn’t be here.”
Nearly 60,000 units of blood and blood components are needed each year at Cedars-Sinai for people being treated for cancer, heart and other organ transplants, traumas, and other conditions.
Your donation could help save a life. To make an appointment to donate, call 310-423-5346 or visit Cedars-Sinai Blood Donor Services.