Last month McCallie sophomore, Will Hunt, got the greatest gift of all. The gift of life. Friday Will's classmates organized a blood drive to help celebrate Will's successful heart transplant. The 16-year-old has been released from the ICU at Vanderbilt Hospital, but is still recovering at a nearby apartment in Nashville.
McCallie students organized the blood drive as a way of honoring their classmate, and giving back to the family who helped save their friend's life. Each year students at the McCallie School hold a blood drive during the holiday season, but this year the donations mean so much more. “Asking people to donate blood, telling them what it was for, making sure they knew this was a celebration of Will Hunt's recovery,” said senior Ali Shafi.
McCallie seniors consider the blood drive a celebration of life, for fellow student Will Hunt, who has been in the hospital most of this semester. “How could we help from our view; we are pretty helpless. Great way to help people like him,” said senior Nathan Little.
But there are two sides to each heart transplant story. This blood drive is dedicated to the family who helped save Will's life. “Remembrance of the family on the other side of the heart transplant. While we are celebrating we know there's another family is hurting because that’s how he got the heart,” said George Arrowsmith a senior at McCallie.
Blood Assurance provided two buses to collect donations. They say with each donation; three lives are saved. “About 35 people signed up, we filled up most of the slots we had on the sheet. But more people came than signed up.”
Will's classmates have been following his journey since the beginning, and they're thankful he is finally on the road to recovery. “As a school we feel that glee, so it is a great opportunity for people, we get updates on Will during the process, and we understand it doesn't have to stop here,” said Shafi.
“When something bad happens you need it quick. We're saving lives by doing this,” said Jake Burrows. A little gesture from classmates, to a friend who means so much. “Praying for you man, we all are. You're a role model for all of us.”
This time of year is when Blood Assurance needs blood the most, to donate: