Blood donations were key to saving boy’s leg

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Aaron Nolan says an ATV accident nearly cost him his life

When Aaron Nolan was 14, he almost lost his leg in a serious ATV accident.

Aaron Nolan

Aaron, now 16, remembers the accident vividly. He and a friend were on their way to cadets when they were struck by a SUV.

“My leg went down the chain as I got thrown 40 feet through the air,” Aaron said. “I was losing a lot of blood and bleeding through the bone so they didn’t think they’d be able to save my leg.”

Aaron’s mother, Sherry Nolan, said her son was not supposed to be driving the ATV to cadets, but he did not have time to bring it home.

“Plus he was too tired to drive it,” she said. “So he let his friend drive it.”

Aaron was rushed to hospital where he was stabilized and the bleeding was stemmed until he could reach the Janeway Children's Health and Rehabilitation Centre so he could undergo surgery.

Aaron is walking again and able to lead a normal life thanks to the multiple surgeries he has gone through over the past two years. Aaron says he owes a lot to the people who donated blood to allow him to get blood transfusions at the time of the incident.

“If I wasn’t able to get blood transfusions, I probably would have lost my leg or possibly my life,” he said.

Aaron’s mother said her son needed transfusions during multiple surgeries when doctors put an orbital fixator in his leg and used part of his abdominal muscles to strengthen his leg enough so that he could walk again.

After a lot of physiotherapy and several surgeries, he has gotten better.

“In November 2012, he got the fixator taken off and he was up walking around again,” Nolan said. “He’s got a little bit of a limp. On (some days) he’s got a more prominent limp.”

Aaron hasn’t been riding an ATV since his was destroyed in the crash even though Nolan says her son is not afraid to have one again.

“He does want a new one, but not for a while yet,” she said.

Nolan says she now tries to encourage people to donate blood as donors have helped Aaron now lead a normal life with everything intact.

“Basically, without the blood transfusions Aaron may not have been able to keep his leg,” she said. “I’m grateful for people who have donated blood.”

Aaron also wants to encourage people to donate blood at any chance they get and will donate blood when he is old enough.

“With the support of you donating blood to the blood drive, you can save a lot of people’s lives,” he said.

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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