Minden Press-Herald

Tuesday
Sep 30th

Victim’s journey continues

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Following a tragic car accident on March 11, 2011, Susanna Moss was finally able to return to her family after hours of surgery, 24 days in the hospital, two weeks in a recovery facility and 80 units of donated blood.

Her journey to recovery is not over.

"I am having to have another hip surgery," she said. "This time I have to have a hip replacement. I have to have a bone graft. Then I have to have a hip replacement, but it has to be shaped – it can't be a regular hip replacement.

"I have to have a CAT scan and an Indium scan on (August) 27th in Shreveport," Moss continued, "and then I have to take them to (a doctor in Minnesota) on September 10 and he said he would give me a definite yes or no. He said it's such a big complex problem he's still not quite sure if he can do it or not."

She said the CAT scan will give a better view of her hip's condition and the Indium scan is to find infection that may require attention before any invasive procedures.

Moss has already had two hip reconstructions, each of which required many units of blood and additional money. The next surgery will take even more.

It took multiple groups of people to save Moss' life after the accident almost stole it away. More are trying to manage her constant pain and restore her hip as best as possible.

Some groups are obvious: Minden police; Minden firefighters; Pafford Emergency Medical Service technicians and LifeAir pilots; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and other medical facility's doctors and staff.

However, one important group is not as obvious – blood donors.

According to LifeShare Blood Center donor recruiter Mary Jo Henderson, blood supplies are down.

"Our blood supply is the lowest it's been in nine years," she said. "The community, they are the ones that save lives. We have 29 hospitals to supply and it's tough when a hospital calls and we say you know we don't have any of that on the shelves, we'll have to get back to you."

Donations nationwide have dropped by 20 percent, according to Henderson.

A drop in supply in this area began, according to her, when so much blood was needed after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"I noticed it started going down then," Henderson said. "Then the economy hit. You may not have enough money for gas to get anywhere to give blood. Maybe you don't have a job, or if you do have a job you're struggling to keep it."

She also said she feels people aren't aware so many need blood and blood products, and hopes Moss' story will help illustrate what can be done as a community.

"Susanna is a classic example of what this community can do," she said. "She is still alive today because this community helped her. This is just one example of what happens.

"What about premature babies that need blood?" Henderson continued. "What about babies in uterus that we can transfuse blood now to save their lives before they are even born? What about surgery? You wake up and you've had five units of blood that you didn't even know about."

For her part, Moss said she knows that blood donors were a crucial part of her being alive today.

"I appreciate everyone who donated blood," Moss said. "Because if (the hospital) didn't have that much blood I wouldn't have made it."

LifeShare and sponsors KSLA-12 and Superior's Steakhouse in Shreveport will hold a blood drive on August 30 and 31 at Minden Civic Center from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. T-shirts are available with the patriotic theme of "United We Give. United We Live."

Also, Moss has set up a special account for people who would like to help with another kind of blood – the kind that keeps everyone alive economically – money. Her medical and travel expenses increase with each new procedure and specialist consultation.

"Some people may think I can only give a dollar," she said, "but if 100 people give one dollar, that's still $100. All donations are greatly appreciated,"

Donate to help offset Moss' continuing medical bills though the Susanna Moss Special Account at any Capitol One Bank Branch.

 

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