Denver Woman Urges Coloradans to Support American Red Cross with Blood Donations After Life-Saving Transfusions

The American Red Cross of Colorado has a long history of blood distribution in the Denver metropolitan region. Over the last year, the group distributed roughly 33,600 units of blood and blood products to 14 hospitals. Beginning in April, Denver will offer more chances for blood donation and local blood drives, resulting in a bigger impact on saving lives. Amanda Paktinat, Regional Chief Development Officer, is living proof of the impact.

“I have been with Red Cross for 13.5 years. I am what they would call a lifer,” she said with a smile.

The organization is a critical part of her life. In fact, it saved her life.

“Never did I imagine that I would be a recipient of blood in the future.”

In July 2020, Amanda and her husband Cameron were looking forward to welcoming their second child, Jackson. She was having a difficult pregnancy, though, and was high-risk.

“I knew to be kind of aware and cautious of what my body was telling me. In that evening, I was having a lot of pain and that wasn’t normal. I was nine months pregnant. He was full term. It was a Friday evening, and I was scheduled for a C-section on Tuesday. I woke up the next morning, July 19, 2020, and realized I hadn’t felt him move since the night before.

“So, we rushed to the hospital where they confirmed my worst fears,” she continued tearfully. “He had passed in the night. I was not allowed to have my husband with me (due to the pandemic), and they told me in a room by myself that he had passed.”

She underwent an emergency C-section and was losing a lot of blood.

“Because my uterus was so expanded, it might burst. I was retaining a lot of water, so they had to get him out pretty quickly. I was just so focused on making it home for my daughter. I didn’t want her to lose her brother and her mom in the same day.”

Amanda ended up needing three blood transfusions to stabilize her body.

“And this is so personal to me. When they finally wheeled in the blood, on it, it said, ‘American Red Cross’ and it felt like home. I felt immediate relief. I could feel my body getting stronger. That blood saved my life, it gave me hope for the future and the next day I was able to walk out and be home for my family.”

That blood also allowed her 7-year-old daughter Sophia to have an older brother at home.

“When you lose a child, the only hope is for another one. There’s something that just feels missing.”

After nine months, she was healthy enough to try again. She was blessed with her youngest son, Chip.

“Who I brought into this world because I was saved by Red Cross blood, truly. He is just the light of everyone’s life. He is just the sweetest boy. Everyone loves him, everyone in my family loves him and is just so grateful for him.”

Amanda says her gratitude is endless for her family, now complete by the generosity of blood donors.

“I’m a runner, so they talk about that high that you get after a run. That high that you feel when you cross that finish line is like anything else, except for donating blood. I really do feel that. It is literally the gift of life. I know people can be nervous and anxious about it. it is so worth it.”

The need for blood is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. About 62% of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood but only about 3% donates.

The American Red Cross of Colorado will officially begin accepting blood donations on April 1, but you’re urged to schedule your appointment now. You can use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

If you’re interested in other places to donate blood in Colorado, visit

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