Riley’s Furniture Gallery owner Riley Griffiths and blood donor Patience Sturgill learned they have much more in common than the comfy La-Z-Boy recliner donated by Riley’s and won by Patience in a drawing at the Middletown Community Blood Center (CBC). Riley’s daughter and Patience’s mother both survived traumatic injury with the help of talent doctors and multiple blood transfusions.
Everyone who registered to donate at the Middletown CBC Donor Center from June 25 through June 29 and July through July 6 were automatically entered in a drawing for the La-Z-Boy, a $499 value. “We had 93 pints of blood donated during the two weeks of the chair giveaway,” said CBC Middletown Rep. Carolyn Holland. “We can really thank Riley’s for helping encourage donations, especially during the busy time around the July 4th holiday.”
Patience, who works at the Bob Evans Restaurant in Springboro, was entered in the drawing when she donated July 3 at the Middletown CBC. “I was surprised,” she said, when she arrived at the Riley’s Furniture Gallery in Monroe to pick out her La-Z-boy. “I didn’t even know I was entered!”
Riley Griffiths carefully explained every detail of the luxury recliner to Patience so she could choose the best color and style. He didn’t hesitate to sponsor the drawing because of what he described as his first-hand experience with the way blood donations save lives.
In November of 2011 Griffith’s daughter Megan was driving her van on a highway near her home in the coastal town of Shallotte, NC. Her six-year-old daughter Abbi was in the back seat and they were on the way to Abbi’s gymnastics class. Megan was pregnant and was due that day to deliver her fourth child.
A vehicle emerged ran the stop sign at a dangerous intersection and pulled directly into the path of Megan’s van. The impact crushed the front of the van and left Megan severely injured. Abbi was unharmed, but Megan’s unborn child – a boy they had named Juda – was killed.
“They couldn’t save the baby, but they realized Megan was alive,” said Griffiths. “She died a couple of times in the ambulance and being airlifted to the trauma center in Wilmington. She used 46 pints of blood. They couldn’t stop the bleeding. But she had some very gritty doctors, and they saved her.”
Griffiths said Megan’s surgeon brought the family together for prayer and warned, “I can only do so much.” Miraculously the bleeding stopped, her swelling went down and she recovered. “The doctor said, ‘Every three or four years we get one we just can’t explain, and this is one,’” said Griffiths.
“She was able to sit up and actually hold the baby, for a parting time,” he said. “That was important to her.” Her children mourned the loss, but her son Max said, “It’s better to lose a brother than your mother.”
Patience Sturgill nearly lost her mother in a traffic accident and that inspired her to become a blood donor. “It started with my mom,” she said. “She was a highway worker and got hit by a car. She needed a lot of blood. They put more blood into her than a body would hold (10 pints for the average adult), she lost that much.”
“They were putting up security fences along the highway when a car hit her and a co-worker. He passed away,” she said. “Both her legs were shattered. They wanted to amputate her leg and said she would never walk again. But she is walking on it. She had really good doctors and therapists.”
Patience was a child when her mother was injured. “When I got older she told me about what happened to her,” she said. “She wanted me to know so that I wouldn’t be scared about donating blood. I got interested in school.”