CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginians are donating blood to people who need it including hundreds of people injured in the Las Vegas mass shooting earlier this week.
The American Red Cross held a blood drive Wednesday at Charleston’s Embassy Suites hotel.
Brenda Hoylman, of Hurricane, has been giving blood for decades. She said she was already scheduled to do so before the Vegas shooting which left 59 dead and more than 500 people injured after a man opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay May Hotel and Casino. The gunman, Stephen Paddock, 64, later killed himself.
“I’ve actually given blood for up to 30 years now, so it was just on my calendar since last week,” Holyman said.
The shooting happened Sunday night at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip.
Holyman said she knows what it’s like to loose blood, so she’s willing to give back to anyone who needs it.
“I was given two pints of blood when I gave birth to my sons. I’m just paying it forward,” she said. “It’s just a feeling of satisfaction, just knowing that you’re helping others — anybody that needs blood all over the United States.”
According to the Red Cross, one donation can potentially help more than one patient.
“One pint of blood could save up to three people’s lives, so that’s significant,” said Regina Boothe Bratton, external communications manager for the Red Cross.
Every two seconds in the United States, someone needs blood. It’s important to have blood available for those who need it unexpectedly, too, she said.
“You never know what will happen. It’s not only this tragedy in Las Vegas, but it’s the current hurricanes, there’s wildfires out west, there’s the day to day blood needs for cancer patients,” Boothe Bratton said.
People have been lined up for hours in Nevada to give blood to shooting victims.
“It’s really good to see those people lining up and to know that Las Vegas will not have a sufficient supply of blood to deal with this ongoing emergency,” Boothe Bratton said.
So far, the Red Cross has supplied 450 units of blood to Las Vegas.