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Zachary’s Birthday Blood Drive

Pay it forward in honor of a life saved

Three days in the intensive care unit delayed Amanda Fiedler’s meeting with her third child. Finally her husband wheeled her through the halls of Anne Arundel Medical Center to meet Zachary in the neonatal intensive care unit.
    “The nurses took the little blanket off the incubator, and he looked so tiny,” says Fielder, tears welling up. “I remember holding him and whispering in his ear, we did it.”
    Fifteen pints of blood helped Fiedler survive the difficult birth.
    Now the Fiedler family wants to celebrate Zachary’s second birthday with blood donations to the hospital’s Blood Donor Center and NICU.
    “I’ll never know the donors who saved my life, so this is my way of thanking them,” she told Bay Weekly.
    Fiedler hemorrhaged six weeks into her pregnancy. Doctors stopped the bleeding but allowed only a 50/50 chance the baby would survive the next two weeks.
    Relief overwhelmed Fiedler, and her husband, Eric, now both 34, when doctors heard a heartbeat two weeks later. They weren’t worried about the “slim chance for a problematic delivery.” Amanda had already given birth to two healthy boys.
    At 26 weeks, she hemorrhaged again, as she would three more times before she was hospitalized at 33 weeks.
    Doctors postponed a Caesarean delivery as long as they could to give preemie Zachary time to grow.
    Then the big hemorrhage came. Fiedler was rushed to the operating room.
    “I grabbed my husband’s hand and told him, If something happens to me, tell the boys I love them.”
    On July 31, 2011, Fiedler gave birth. Zachary was rushed to the NICU. In recovery, Fiedler “didn’t feel right.” Lying in a hospital bed she had too little energy to open her eyes.
    Memories of the next two days are fuzzy. She remembers hearing, Call the blood bank.
    But after an hour and a half, Fiedler’s nightmare was over. Twenty-four hours later, she was on her way to meet her son.
    “I’ve always been the type of person to try to do something good when something bad happens,” Fiedler says.
    On Zachary’s second birthday, that’s flooding Anne Arundel Medical Center’s blood bank with donations, which drop during the summer months, when need is greatest.
    On Saturday, August 3 — the second anniversary of the mother-and-child reunion — Anne Arundel’s blood mobile will park at Menchies Frozen Yogurt in Parole Town Center from 10am to 4pm.
    In under 30 minutes, you could save another life. Then stop into Menchies for a party with discounted frozen yogurt, live music, face painting and a raffle for Orioles baseball tickets. Walk in or sign up at www.mysignup.com/zachary.