ASBP: Ulcer Leads to Nine Units of Blood for Navy Dad
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Ulcer Leads to Nine Units of Blood for Navy Dad

09/08/2017
By Jeffery Diffy, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, North Chicago, Ill.
Navy dad Robert Storm is healthy today and looking forward to seeing his daughter, Seaman Recruit Rachel Storm, graduate from Navy boot camp Aug. 11. However, last year, his future wasn’t so bright. After not recognizing the seriousness of a rapidly worsening situation, he needed surgical intervention and blood transfusions to recover from a peptic ulcer.

Rachel Storm, who knows how important blood donations were for her father, donated blood with the Armed Services Blood Program while she was in boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois. After she graduates, she will attend her “A” school as a fire controlman.

“My dad first looked pale and my mom, April Storm, mentioned how pale he looked,” Rachel Storm said. “After the surgical procedure he looked much better.”

Robert Storm shared his blood utilization story:

“I had been having pain in my stomach for weeks and felt weak and lethargic,” he said. “I also had a decreased appetite and my stools were black and ‘tarry.’ On April 30, 2016, I collapsed and had to pull myself up onto a chair. Later, my wife noticed that I was just sitting in the chair not moving. She said that I looked anemic. I told her that I couldn’t move or get up. I hadn’t shared my earlier symptoms with her. I didn’t realize that they were indicative of something very serious.

“She insisted on taking me to the hospital emergency room to get checked out. I collapsed outside of the hospital. The guards had to help me up into a wheelchair and took me into the ER.

“The weekend staff stabilized me with IVs, medication and a blood transfusion. They kept a close check on my vitals and gave me a second unit of blood. Since I was admitted over the weekend, I had to wait until Monday to see the gastrointestinal surgeon. Based on an exam and my symptoms, he concluded that I had been internally bleeding for days. The surgeon suspected that I had a bleeding ulcer. Having rheumatoid arthritis for the past 30 years, my treatment included use of steroid-containing medications and (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which can cause ulcers.

“He scheduled me for surgery the very next day. The procedure involved inserting a tube down my throat that had an endoscopic camera so that they could identify the source of the bleeding and manipulate the tools down to where he could stitch the hole shut and cauterize the area. Over a period of six days, I received a total of nine pints of blood!”

The Storm family has several regular blood donors, including the mother-daughter donation team of April and Rachel Storm. They also are now joined by Navy brother Ryan Storm as well.

“I had an excellent doctor who performed my surgery and by the grace of God, I survived and I’m doing well,” Robert Storm said. “Donating blood is so important. The unselfish act saves countless lives every day, mine included. I am unable to donate due to the medication I take to treat my rheumatoid arthritis. However, I have several family members that are regular donors. My wife has been a donor for many years. Having O-negative, her blood can be used by 100 percent of the population. My son just donated for the first time this year and my daughter is scheduled to donate next week. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are also blood donors.”

About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure. To find out more about the ASBP or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with ASBP staff members, see more photos or get the latest news, follow @militaryblood on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Pinterest. Find the drop. Donate.

The Armed Services Blood Program is a proud recipient of the Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs award for journalism.