Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 is a day that forever changed the life of an Elaine teenager.
As a newly licensed 16-year-old, Kaleb “Pud” Faulkner was driving home from a high school football game. Just three miles from his house, Kaleb was involved in a car accident that left him an amputee.
Kaleb's right leg was amputated just below the knee as a result of injuries he suffered in that accident. He also received a broken pelvis and femur in his right leg. He has since had eight operations requiring almost 20 pints of blood and was hospitalized five weeks.
Kaleb has since returned home and is more than ready to start helping others. His family is joining the American Red Cross to help recruit blood donors for a community blood drive in Elaine scheduled for Nov. 1.
“This community has helped us so much,” stated Anna Faulkner, Kaleb's mother. “We want to do whatever we can, whenever we can, to help others. Kaleb received quite a bit of blood and it helped save his life. We want to make sure blood is there for whoever might need it.”
Before the accident, Kaleb was an avid baseball player. In the future, it is possible that he may receive a prosthetic leg that will allow him to continue his passion for his favorite sport.
Despite the painful ordeal and his tender age, Anna says Kaleb's positive attitude has never wavered.
“The need for blood doesn't discriminate based on how old or young a person is,” stated Dr. Michele Wright, CEO of the Red Cross Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services Region, in a press release. “Traumatic accidents and other health conditions can strike a family when it least expects it. Blood donors help the Red Cross ensure blood is available when it is needed.”
Kaleb's accident wasn't the first time that he needed blood products. When he was an infant, Kaleb was admitted to the hospital requiring a platelet transfusion.
The Elaine community blood drive honoring Kaleb will be held 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1 at American Legion Post 238, 400 Main St., Elaine.
According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. To keep up with the supply and demand the Red Cross must collect 15,000 donations a day for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
To donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or obtain more information. All blood types are needed. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.
Donors must be at least 17 (16 in some states with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and in generally good health. High school students and others 18 and younger must meet certain height and weight requirements.