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A Year Later and the Future Looks Much Better
By Jeffery Diffy, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, North Chicago, Ill.
Annisa Evans and her son Seaman Recruit Jeffrey Mustard are looking forward to the celebration that will follow after Mustard graduates boot camp at Great lakes, Ill., Jan. 27. For Evans, 2017 looks much better after her recovery that took place in 2016.
Annisa Evans has experienced blood transfusions in the past. When she tried to donate recently, she was unable to donate due to low red blood cell counts. This was followed with the need for surgery and more blood transfusions.
Today she is recovered from the crisis and looking forward to her son graduating initial training in the U.S. Navy and becoming a Sailor.
She shared her story of becoming severely anemic and needing medical intervention and blood transfusions to survive.
“I have to say I know firsthand the importance of donating blood,” she said. “Last January, I was not feeling good and had for years had problems with anemia. (My doctor) did some blood work and refused to even let me drive, so she herself took me to the hospital and had me admitted for emergency blood transfusion.”
Her blood levels were so low, even after iron transfusions and medications, that her doctor told her if she didn’t do the transfusions she wouldn’t make it.
“I spent several days in the hospital getting transfusions and then an emergency hysterectomy to make sure (my levels) didn’t drop again,” Evans said.
After her surgery and transfusions to correct the low cell counts, she began the road to recovery.
Knowing just how important blood donations were for his mother, Evans’ son, Seaman Recruit Jeffrey Mustard, supported the Armed Services Blood Program while attending boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill.
Mustard will graduate boot camp Jan. 27 and travel to Groton, Conn., to attend his “A” school for the submarine electronics computer field.
“Before the Navy, I worked at a (car) manufacturing plant assembling parts in Ohio,” he said. “I’m looking forward to serving in the Navy now. I joined to develop personal strengths and to see the world.”
While Mustard was in basic training at Great lakes, Ill., he supported the Armed Services Blood Program and plans to continue donating blood when he arrives at his next command.
“I donated blood while I was in high school,” he said. “I like to donate blood. I also like to read, train dogs, play video games and work on any issue related to health. I like to be healthy.”
When asked about his mom’s blood usage story, he said: “My mom is a wonderful person, and I will always donate to help another person. My mom didn’t say much while her illness was taking place because she didn’t want to worry us.”
Evans has recovered and would like to donate blood as well. Although she has not been able to do so yet, she keeps trying.
“It was an 18-week recovery, but after recovery I felt better than I had in years,” Evans said. “My blood levels are staying up and I am no longer anemic. I tried to donate before the transfusions and sadly couldn't due to being anemic. If it was not for people like this helping do donations and for ones willing to donate, I would not be here with my family today. It brings a smile to see all the recruits here giving blood and I hope they understand how important it is. A heartfelt thanks to every person that donates!”
About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure. To find out more about the ASBP or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit
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The Armed Services Blood Program is a proud recipient of the
Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs award
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