My name is Anthony Tornetta and I am the communications lead in the Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. On Jan. 16, I rushed my 2½-year-old to the emergency room at 2 a.m. as he was coughing and struggling to catch his breath. My wife and I weren’t sure if he was having an asthma attack or if this was just a side effect of the cold he has been battling. Either way, I quickly got dressed, got his coat on and rushed him to the emergency room about 15 miles away.
He was still coughing and wheezing but getting a little better as we arrived at the hospital. We pulled into the parking lot just outside of the emergency room. I got out of the car and got him out of his car seat. Believe it or not, it was snowing now.
We turned around to walk into the hospital, and right there in front of us was an American Red Cross Blood Services vehicle. Before I could say a word, my little boy pointed and said, “Look daddy, the Red Cross is here helping people!”
I thought to myself, well look at that! The Red Cross is always there when our patients need us, even at 2 a.m. as snow flurries fill the sky.
We made our way into the E.R. and got my son checked out. All of his vitals were fine and he was given one dose of medication before being discharged with instructions to follow up with his pediatrician later that day.
As worried as I was about my own son, I felt very proud to know that we were there at 2 a.m. for a patient in need.
Severe winter weather across much of the U.S. throughout January has affected the ability of the Red Cross to collect blood and platelet donations. Hundreds of Red Cross blood drives have been canceled in 25 states, resulting in a shortfall of more than 9,900 blood and platelet donations. Please make an appointment to donate blood or platelets in the days and weeks ahead. To schedule an appointment to donate, please visit us online at redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.