Bike accident highlights need for blood

Angus McPhail
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Teen stresses the importance of wearing helmets and donating blood

Taylor Jackson knows the importance of wearing a bike helmet. He also knows the importance of donating blood. Unfortunately, he had to learn these things the hard way.

Taylor Jackson, 18, needed a blood transfusion after a bicycle accident in 2010. He encourages people to give blood. — Submitted photo

On July 16, 2010, Jackson, now 18, was involved in a bicycle accident. He was heading home from a ball field when he hit a rock and went over the handle bars. Although he normally wore a helmet, he said, he did not have one on at the time.

Jackson’s mother, Nancy Jackson, said he called her and told her his head was bleeding. He went to his grandmother’s house then to a clinic where an ambulance picked him up to take him to the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre. The doctor took the maintenance drill with him on the way.

“Part way in … they had to haul over this ambulance long enough for him to do a burr hole in Taylor’s head because there was a bleed on the brain,” she said. “The pressure was building so he just released that pressure.”

Jackson was rushed into surgery. The bleed on his brain was caused by a skull fracture. The doctors fixed him up and he was under heavy sedation for five days. His mother said he needed a blood transfusion because of the surgery.

“He had five units of blood, so even before the ambulance went out over the highway they had to hose out the ambulance,” she said. “It was just a mess with the amount of blood.”

Jackson needed physiotherapy to get back his abilities to eat and walk and talk normally. Now, his mother said, he has been cleared by doctors and has no residual ill effects from the accident.

Jackson said the importance of donating blood should never be understated. Even if you think one blood donation won’t make a difference, it really can, he said.

“People should go out and donate,” he said. “(This) could happen to you or one of your friends.”

Nancy Jackson said she did not donate blood before her son’s accident, but now that has all changed. She has since donated blood multiple times.

“It kind of just gave me a push to go,” she said. “I was never afraid of giving (blood). I just never gave it.”

She said she knows people who have started giving blood as well since there have been clinics in her area.

“They’re like me. Every two months they’re giving blood. Every time there’s a clinic out here.”

She said if a person can give blood they should. It only takes a half an hour and there is always somebody who needs blood, she said.

“They can really save somebody’s life,” she said.

Now, Jackson said, he always makes sure to wear his helmet every time he is on his bicycle.

“I go full armour.”

The Telegram is encouraging readers to donate blood this week as part of its annual The Telegram Saves Lives blood drive campaign. The blood drive runs from Oct. 21-25. Check The Telegram this week for more stories on donating blood, and visit our website at for a special section with more stories and videos.

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Recent comments

  • Marie
    October 21, 2013 - 06:04

    Yes there is always a need for blood. I have severe anemia and need another blood transfusion. Just waiting on a call to get it. My red blood cells are so low now it is almost life threating. I need two donor just for one transfusion. So please donate it don't cost any thing to save a life.