Underwood High School to host Red Cross blood drive in honor of former student


March 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the American Red Cross say a Blood Drive will be held March 19th at the Underwood High School Gym, in honor of Alexandra “Alex” Peterson, of Neola. Peterson had recently graduated from the Underwood High School and was looking forward to going away to college, when a multiple-car accident in Council Bluffs on July 23rd, 2012 nearly cut the 18-year-old’s life short.

During the accident, Alex’s car was thrust into oncoming traffic and she was broadsided. Her injuries were numerous and life threatening. She stopped breathing and had no pulse for a short time, at the scene of the accident. Emergency surgeries were performed at Alegent Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. and Alex received at least 14 pints of blood as doctors worked to repair her broken body.

Now, after months of rehabilitation, Alex’s family says she is nearly recovered. Alex started taking classes at Iowa State University in January. Alex’s family credits blood donors for their role in her recovery and now encourages others to give blood. The Peterson family is partnering with Red Cross and Underwood High School to help host blood drive in Alex’s honor. Alex and her family will be in attendance to thank those who give.

The Blood Drive will be held from 8-a.m. until 2-p.m. March 19th, at the Underwood High School Gym, 629 North St. in Underwood. To make an appointment, please contact the Underwood High School office at 712-566-2703. Blood collected at the blood drive in honor of Alex Peterson may be used for trauma victims – due to accidents and burns – heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies, patients with complications during childbirth, and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease.

You can donate blood elsewhere, as well. To find more information, simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.