Story of Hope – Shilling Family

When Sara Scott’s father, John Shilling, was in a catastrophic car accident, her world changed in an instant. One of the most important people in her life was now fighting for his life.

“At the hospital I found out that my dad was talking but was in physical rough shape with internal bleeding, over a dozen broken bones and head trauma. I stayed throughout the night with my mom, and we watched my dad slip into a coma. The next day, the trauma surgeon told us that the prognosis wasn’t good and I should call my brother to have our family say our goodbyes.”

Facing a dire situation, Sara and her family continued to hold out hope for something, anything, to change. “The ICU kept giving my dad units of blood and started dialysis trying to save him. In total, he received over 50 units of blood product.” For a lifelong blood donor, this was an opportunity for Sara to see the impact of donations directly.

“Early in my life I decided on a goal to be a 10- gallon blood donor,” Sara said. “I have always appreciated how my employer, Nationwide, supports the Red Cross and makes it easy to donate onsite.”

After eight days that felt like an eternity to Sara and her family, the tide began to turn. “My Dad miraculously started recovering. He moved from the ICU into a regular room. After months of rehab, he made it home. While my dad isn’t physically as strong as before the accident, he is back to being his normal joking, entertaining self. My family treats each day since the accident as a gift with my dad. He was even able to see my daughter, who shares his birthday, graduate high school.”

Sara saw how important it is to have a strong blood supply on hand when a tragedy strikes, and it’s stuck with her. “My dad is only alive because of blood donors. They saved his life. I am forever in debt.”

The experience of watching her father rely on blood only strengthened Sara’s desire to reach her goal.

“Over the summer, I finally hit my lifetime goal of 10 gallons of blood donations onsite at the Nationwide Blood Donation Center. It was emotional. It made me so proud not only to achieve a goal but such pride of being a Nationwide associate. I can directly see the impact that Nationwide is making in our community. We are literally saving lives.”

Though that goal has been achieved, Sara isn’t done rolling up her sleeve. “I continue to proudly donate. I just need to determine my new donation goal.”


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