Station InitiativesWellness Wednesday


Mother's life saved by donated blood

Posted at 6:08 PM, Jan 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-25 20:08:02-05

A Utah woman and her doctors say she’s alive thanks to thirty strangers.

Peace Iheanacho is mother to one-year-old Ifeanye.

“Ifeanye means there is nothing God cannot do.”

Peace took a leap of faith early in her pregnancy with Ifeanye. She had what is called placenta accreta, a condition that can lead to fatal bleeding during and after childbirth.

“And they kept on telling me that what I had is really bad, that I’m definitely going to bleed. And I told them that I don't want to take the baby out,” said Iheanacho.

Her high-risk pregnancy was always going to require donated blood. The shocking situation in her case…she went into labor early and required thirty units to save her life.

Dr. Sara Ilstrup, Director of Transfusion Medicine at Intermountain Health says it’s extraordinary Peace survived.

“The average body has about five to 6000 mils of blood. And that's 10 or 10, or 12 units, depending on how large the person is. So, when you're talking about someone getting 30 red cells, they're getting three or four times their blood volume replaced,” said Ilstrup.

30 strangers saved Peace’s life.

“And I am so grateful for that. Because they got to appoint where during the surgery, I was bleeding, and they can’t stop the bleeding. So if those people did not give that blood, I might not be here holding my son. So I can’t thank them enough. I don’t know who they are. But for them to save a total stranger…it’s huge,” said Iheanacho.

One Sunday in June of 2020, a combination of events left the shelf empty at Intermountain Medical Center.

“I have an incredible transfusion coordinator named Lisa Warner and she wasn't on call, but I called her at home, and she literally sat from her home on a Sunday morning and called every hospital in the state…and it makes me tear up because people sent us units,” said Ilstrup.

It was never that bad before and it hasn’t been since. But blood donations are down, and another empty shelf could lead to an empty spot in a family portrait.

You can make a difference by donating blood at a local blood drive near you. Visit to make an appointment. If you donate in January, you could win a trip the Super Bowl next month. Just one donation can save up to three lives.