Thinking About Donating Blood? This Johnson & Johnson Employee Has 53 Reasons Why You Should

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Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, according to the American Red Cross. The ever-present need for blood coupled with dwindling donations after the holiday season makes January, National Blood Donor Month, an important time to roll up a sleeve and give.

Scott Christmas, senior spine sales consultant, DePuy Synthes Spine, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, counts his reasons to give blood by the pints of blood he received after a devastating plane crash changed his life. Without those lifesaving donations, he may not have survived. Now he is on a mission to raise awareness about donating blood and to do the same.

In 1996, the sea plane Scott was traveling in crashed into Alabama’s Weeks Bay, killing the pilot, Scott’s lifelong friend, Captain Owen Duke of the U.S. Marine Corps. Gravely injured, Scott was rescued by two retired U.S. Airborne Brigade medics who were on a boat nearby while a witness onshore called 9-1-1.

With chemical burns over 70 percent of his body, a broken back and wrist and life-threatening aortic trauma – Scott’s condition was critical. Against all odds, he survived 15+ hours of surgery. In an induced coma for two weeks post-surgery, he woke up and set out on a long road to recovery.

“I was given less than a five percent chance of survival after they pulled me from the wreckage,” says Scott. “Fifty-three complete strangers gave me the gift of life by donating blood. They are my heroes. I owe it to them to pay it forward.“

An avid triathlete, Scott was told he would never run again. But he beat the odds again, when, just over a year later, he was racing, inspired by the success of Larry Frederich, a Los Angeles police officer who received more than 100 units of blood after being hit by a car. About 18 months into his recovery, Scott joined Larry for a cross-country bike ride, helping to promote awareness and raise 6,500 units of blood from donors nationwide.

“I was given a second chance and a new purpose – to inspire others to never give up and to give the gift of life,” says Scott. “Think of all the lives that can be saved through blood donation.”

Tragically, Scott lost his wife Amy Christmas, M.D. to brain cancer last year. He shares further details about his story and commitment to raising awareness about blood donation in this video. Johnson & Johnson supports more than 100 blood drives in the U.S. each year. Our employees have donated more than 139,000 pints of blood in the past five years. You can make a difference, too. For a blood drive near you , visit: 
http://www.americasblood.org/ or https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive 

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Scott raced in memory of Captain Owen Duke during the Marine Corp Marathons in 2003 and 2016, the 20th Anniversary of the plane crash that took Duke’s life.

 

Scott expanded his advocacy to promote brain cancer awareness after the disease claimed his wife, Amy, in 2017.