Eighteen-year-old Abby Droessler, a Hayward High School senior and student athlete, enjoys hunting, volunteering for church and community events, riding and showing horses and was chosen as the 2019 Spooner Rodeo Princess. Unlike most teenagers her age, Abby is also a blood recipient who needed multiple transfusions following a July 2016 watercraft accident that left her with life-threatening injuries.
In celebration of her birthday, her family will be hosting the third annual American Red Cross Abby Droessler Birthday Blood Drive July 25-26, from 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 25, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, July 26.
“Hosting an annual birthday blood drive in Abby’s honor is the perfect way to celebrate her life and help pay it forward,” said Abby’s parents, Meghan and Ben Droessler. “It’s our way to thank donors for giving the blood that may have helped save our daughter’s life and to help ensure other patients have the blood they need. We are thankful to be celebrating Abby’s birthday and we hope we can give the same gift to others.”
Abby’s injuries included a two-inch laceration to her upper thigh and massive bleeding. Following the accident, family members quickly got Abby to shore, where she received emergency medical treatment before being taken by ambulance to the local hospital. Severe weather prevented air ambulance transport, so she was rushed to St. Mary’s in Duluth, a 90-minute ambulance trip. Losing blood rapidly, Abby’s family credits her survival to the care she received from doctors and nurses and the blood that was available to her the moment she needed it.
During treatment, surgeons repaired two severed veins and Abby’s femoral artery. Abby received 13 units of blood and plasma the first night and additional blood transfusions during the seven days she spent in the intensive care unit. All told, eight surgeries were needed to repair the trauma to Abby’s leg, and she received additional blood and plasma transfusions throughout her treatments.
Abby continues to heal and recover, and underwent another corrective surgery in December 2018. Through it all, she continues to be grateful to be alive and to return to the activities she loves. Currently she plays for the Hayward High School volleyball team and works at Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge. Following high school, she plans to attend school to become an RN and in some way incorporate her passion for horses.
How to donate
Donors can download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-Red Cross (1-800-733-2767) 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), and who 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.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete a pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. Follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.