Then 10-year-old Adrian Grajeda of Palm Desert became a hero when he pushed classmates out of the way as a car crashed through their school fence while playing at recess. During the long ride to the hospital there was only so much blood onboard, and Adrian was going through it quickly. His young life was in peril.
Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Department was standing by ready to treat Adrian. The lifesaving blood, Adrian desperately needed was available thanks to other heroes – LifeStream blood donors. “There was no more blood on that ambulance,” said Adrian’s dad Eli. “We got to Loma Linda just in time.”
The injuries to Adrian’s right leg, from flying debris, were grave. When Adrian was out of emergency surgery, Eli and Adrian’s mother, Brandy, were given the grim news that amputation would be necessary. Adrian accepted the decision with stoicism and determination.
Physical therapy was grueling and painful. But Adrian slowly made progress. Four months after the accident, he was fitted for his first prosthesis. Two months later, he had his first “blade” that enabled him to play all out – to be Adrian again.
Now, Adrian runs, jumps and, yes, often falls chasing a loose ball or diving for a pass. It’s natural to wince seeing Adrian go down. But only the first time. It’s who he is, who he’s meant to be.
“I’ll never forget the sight of the stack of bloody towels in his hospital room,” said Brandy. “And I know without blood, and a lot of it, being available, doctors couldn’t have helped him.”
Instead, the joy of play is back. Adrian’s way, thanks to LifeStream blood donors.