ASBP: Both a Nurse and a Blood Donor
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Both a Nurse and a Blood Donor

By Jeffery Diffy, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, North Chicago, Ill.
Seaman Recruit Jacob Santiago donates to help others.  His mother Becky Roberts recently required blood products after a medical emergency.
Seaman Recruit Jacob Santiago donates to help others. His mother Becky Roberts recently required blood products after a medical emergency.
Navy mom Becky Roberts is brimming with gratitude for the strangers that saved her life with their blood donations.

Back in 2014, Roberts was recovering from a spinal fusion that left her with a blood clot behind her knee. After several days of medical care intended to address the blood clot, Roberts began to experience severe pain and other atypical problems. Initially, she attributed the symptoms to the aftermath of the surgery but when it became clear that their severity was increasing, Roberts’s family brought her to a doctor. The results from a CT scan revealed an imminent threat to her life: Roberts had a 17cm. hematoma and was bleeding internally.

Roberts’s blood loss was so significant that hospital staff needed to administer three blood transfusions simply to stabilize her before being transferred to undergo emergency surgery at a different hospital. Fortunately, the blood transfusions were effective and they were able to treat her condition in time.

Today, her experience is a potent reminder that she owes her life to the efforts of blood donors.

“After surgery, I was relieved and thankful that there are people out there who take their time to donate blood, because if people didn’t care I would’ve lost my life,” she said. “I thank everyone who takes their time out to do this for situations like mine and thank everyone once again for saving my life!”

Roberts’s son, Seaman Recruit Jacob Santiago, donated blood while in boot camp at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois. His motivation for donation was clear.

“My mom Becky Roberts is a nurse, and very loyal to her patients. She will stop at nothing to make sure they are healthy and ready to go. She always draws their blood and helps in any way she can with their health care.”

Roberts is not just a Navy mom and a talented nurse, she is a gallon blood donor. She began donating blood in 1992 to help others in need. She never thought she would be the one needing the urgent care and the blood to return to health again.

Santiago said of his mom, “I grew up with just my mom playing the mother and the father roles. She has done an amazing job and I love her so much for it. She is the strongest woman that I know and I am thankful she survived her surgery with the help of blood donors.”

After completing basic training at boot camp, Santiago travelled to San Antonio, Texas to attend his “A” school for master at arms. He intends to continue donating blood at his next Navy command.

Roberts is proud of her son in his Navy career. “My daughter and I miss the man of the house. I know he is doing great things in the Navy!”

Santiago would say the same of his mom, who understands the importance of caring for her family and those that need lifesaving donations.

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 To interact directly with ASBP staff members, see more photos or get the latest news, follow @militaryblood on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Pinterest. Find the drop. Donate.

The Armed Services Blood Program is a proud recipient of the Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs award for journalism.