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Marine mother speaks of importance of blood donation

By Lance Cpl. Kathy A. Nunez | | January 15, 2014

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The mother of a wounded Marine praised the Armed Services Blood Program during the second annual Military National Blood Month celebration Jan. 9 at the Defense Health Headquarters.

Stacy Fidler expressed her gratitude to the blood donors who helped save her son, Cpl. Mark Fidler. The Armed Services Blood Program collects, processes and distributes blood products for military members.

While deployed to Afghanistan with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, in September 2011, Mark stepped on an improvised explosive device, which resulted in severe injuries from his waist down. In the course of his treatment, Mark was transported to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

His mother spoke about his recovery:

What had to be done
“After three days at Walter Reed, the doctors told us the only way to save his life is to disarticulate him at the hips. We gave permission knowing it would be a devastating thing.”

The amount of blood he used
“I counted this stack (of medical papers) one day. Oct. 3, from about 3:30 in the afternoon to midnight was about 120 units. He took 68 units the second evening. These are the only amounts I actually know of.”

Multiple surgeries
“He had surgeries every day for a while, then three times a week, then two times a week, and then as needed. They would prepare 20 units of blood for him every time he went into surgery.” 

What was expected
“They didn’t expect him to live. The doctors would say, ‘We’d never seen injuries this bad.’ Without all those people giving blood, guys like mine wouldn’t live.”

The importance of donating blood
“By donating blood you give somebody else another chance. It took a lot of people to donate for my son. Yes, he’s still in rehab, and yes, his amputations are very high, but he goes hunting and fishing and he’s alive.”


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