DENVER (CBS4) – Bonfils Blood Center collected 142,000 blood donations last year. The center serves 100 hospitals across Colorado, and when an emergency happens it’s crucial to have a ready supply of blood available.

Cassidy Smith knows that all too well. Four years ago she suffered complications while in labor with her first child.

“All of a sudden her heart had stopped. They didn’t sense a heart rate for Anne-Claire,” Smith explained about her daughter.

Doctors performed an emergency C-section and Smith herself needed subsequent surgeries to save her life.

“I think over the course of two days I received more than 270 units of blood products,” Smith told CBS4.

She woke up in the intensive care unit while Anne-Claire was in the NICU.

“There are still tinges of, ‘Wow, I wish I had that experience of seeing my newborn child.’ But I’ve had a lot of great experiences since then. I’m very fortunate,” Smith reflected.

Smith feels fortunate for the kindness of the strangers who saved her life. She benefited from the blood donations of more than 300 people.

“I had someone say to me, ‘You’re just sparkling,’ I said, ‘Oh, wow, thank you.’ They said, ‘It must be all those blood donors’ souls shining through.’ And I thought that was really touching,” Smith said with a smile.

Now she and her husband are grateful for every second with their daughter and for those who keep a constant blood supply.

“The doctors could have done everything, but without blood I wouldn’t have survived, so thank you,” Smith said.

LINK: Bonfils Blood Center

Bonfils Blood Center is always in need of new blood donors. You can also support the organization by buying a ticket to the GiveLIVE Concert on Saturday, May 7. Folk/rock singer Matt Nathanson is headlining at The Paramount.

LINK: GiveLive Concert Ticket Information

Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.

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