Kansas City man hurt in crash holds blood drive to give back

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A young man is counting his blessings this Thanksgiving. He’s also paying it forward after his community helped save his life.

Doctors at St. Luke’s Hospital called Andrew Blickhan the “Miracle Man” after a horrible crash last year in Kansas City, Missouri.

“The car got pretty beat up and so did all of us,” Blickhan said.

They hit a tree. The then 23-year-old had internal bleeding and needed emergency surgery.

Mom, Karen Strauss got a call from the hospital asking for permission.

“An hour later, they called back and said that they were losing him, that he was bleeding out and that I should come now,” Strauss said.

He lost 72 units of blood and went through three eight-hour surgeries.

“It was a lot,” Blickhan said. “That’s bleeding out seven times over.”

During her son’s second surgery, Strauss said her extended family at Visitation Church and School used the power of prayer to pull him through.

She’s a teacher there.

Blickhan survived to see the videos and pictures.

“And I saw friends that I haven’t talked to in years show up to a prayer vigil for me,” Blickhan said.

Hundreds of people packed the parking lot to pray. Others made signs to hold outside the hospital.

With an 18-inch scar, Blickhan is a walking example of how blood donations save lives.

Now, he wants to replenish the stock that saved his life.

“I mean, if they were just happened to be short that day because not that many people donated blood, I would not be walking here today,” Blickhan said.

He partnered with the Community Blood Center to host “72 for Andrew”.

“I don’t think there’s a better way to show appreciation for those who saved your life than to save others,” Community Blood Center Account Manager Cierra Pritchett said.

Family friend Cindy Wallace got a jump on the drive — rolling up her sleeve early.

She remembers feeling helpless last September, while Blickhan was in the fight of his life.

“At that time there’s just so few things you can do, so now to be able to step up to the plate and help Andrew out and really any recipient of blood is just the greatest feeling,” Wallace said.

The blood drive is Saturday, Nov. 27 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Visitation Church inside Tighe Hall.

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