Blood donors share importance of blood donors as Illinois hospital cancels surgeries due to lack of supply

Read Time:2 Minute, 21 Second

CHICAGO (WLS) – The blood supply in Illinois is currently severely deficient. It was so low that the Red Cross said hospitals were forced to cancel surgeries.

But donors can roll up their sleeves to help multiple patients, even the smallest Chicagoan.

Sometimes the smallest patient needs the greatest support. Nurses like Lucas Wesoloski know firsthand the struggles of children at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

RELATED: Gary couple encourage blood donation after daughter’s death

“Our patients need blood transfusions every day,” said Vesoloski, a blood donor himself.

Wesoloski said his patients are battling diseases, such as cancer and various blood disorders.

“It was exhausting, to say the least. Emotionally, physically,” Vesoloski said.

Blood transfusions can often give them the strength they need to fight, he said.

RELATED: Blood donation pays tribute to fallen McHenry County sheriff’s deputy

“It’s not a luxury, it’s a need,” he said. “That’s what our patients need to achieve through therapy.”

Diagnosed with leukemia as a child, the 25-year-old has experienced first-hand the importance of donating blood.

“It shocked my whole family,” recalls Vesoloski.

He said blood transfusions played an important role in his successful treatment.

RELATED: Chicago mother says blood donation, transfusion saved her in complicated labor

“Blood products, if you’re in a shortage, you can’t go to some magical supplier. You can’t do it on a whim. We need donors,” Vesoloski said.

But with the current severe blood shortage, there are concerns about what will happen if blood donors don’t respond to calls for help.

“Our patients were on the ward begging them to go out and donate,” he said.

See | Blood donation needed, in short supply before ABC7 Great Chicago Blood Drive

Wesoloski has been in remission for years and is now caring for children who live in the reality he once lived.

If you want to donate, you can sign up Greater Chicago Blood Drive It will be held at multiple locations next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Use the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible.

Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. all rights reserved.

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