Young Wife and Mother is Grateful to Blood Donors

Kim Durham and her husband Stephen show their support for Beaufort Memorial at the February Valentine Ball fundraiser. On Monday she will be hosting a blood drive in honor of the BMH doctors who saved her life. "Please help me make sure our community has enough blood for people like me who may need it," said Kim. "Your donation can truly make all the difference."

If such things can ever be said to be routine, Kim Durham’s D&C in the wake of her miscarriage last May was, at least initially, routine.

But then she wouldn’t stop bleeding.

The bleeding picked up pace and soon turned to gushing. “Something’s going on here,” one of her doctors at Beaufort Memorial Hospital remembers thinking with alarm.

Though surrounded by an ever-enlarging circle of specialists, Kim herself, a soft-spoken, gentle woman of obvious strength, was not afraid.

“They did a great job of concealing their worry,” she says of the doctors. So did her husband, Stephen, a local dentist, who never left her side.

But worried all of them were. Kim’s blood had lost its ability to clot, and attempting to rebuild the blood, component by component, was the only way to stop its flow, the doctors reasoned.

They followed first one recipe, then another, scrambling from Kim’s bedside to the hospital lab and back in double time. Unit after unit of packed red cells, fresh frozen plasma, platelets and other blood products were transfused into the young wife and mother. Still the bleeding continued.

A rare condition

As Kim’s condition grew increasingly grave, the doctors concluded that a rare, often fatal bleeding disorder known as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) was to blame for her massive blood loss. Left unchecked, the disorder would claim her life within hours.

Years earlier the delivery by Caesarian section of her two sons had severely damaged Kim’s uterus. The doctors guessed, but couldn’t be sure, that the damaged organ was causing the DIC that threatened her survival. Removal of the uterus could save her.

Stabilized by the numerous blood products she had received though still critically ill, she was prepped for surgery. It was only then that Kim realized she might well die on the operating table.

She and Stephen prepared for that possibility and said goodbye. She told him how much she loved him, how much she loved their two small boys. “Please tell them for me that they can become anything they want—president, neurosurgeons, anything,” she added urgently.

A Happy Outcome

Happily, the doctors were right. Kim’s damaged uterus had caused the DIC, and removing it stopped the bleeding. She woke up later the same night in a regular hospital room.

“I went from being dead almost to not even being in intensive care!” she says with amazement.

Kim recovered quickly. Today she’s back to being wife, mother and CPA at her husband’s busy dental practice. In July the family will welcome an adopted baby girl into their midst.

But she hasn’t forgotten for a single minute who and what helped her get where she is, and her gratitude is heartfelt and wide-ranging.

Kim is thankful to people she’ll never meet for their gift of blood. She’s thankful to The Blood Alliance and its partnership with Beaufort Memorial, for the number and variety of blood products the hospital had on hand that day last May (unusual, she’s since learned, for a hospital its size). She’s thankful to the hospital’s doctors and nurses for the superlative care they gave her.

And she’s particularly thankful to her physicians, Dr. Glenn Werner OB/GYN and anesthesiologist Dr. Bobby Bell—whose kindness, expertise, creative thinking and quick action quite literally saved her life.

In order to show her appreciation to everyone involved, Kim and her friend, Ryan Christian, decided the best thing they could do was to encourage others to donate blood. To that end, they are hosting a blood drive on May 10th at the Blood Alliance at Beaufort Memorial in honor of Drs. Werner and Bell.

It is, she feels, the least she can do.

Durham to Host Blood Drive to Honor her Doctors

To honor Drs. Glenn Werner and Bobby Bell and help collect blood for use by patients at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Kim Durham and her friend Ryan Christian will host an all-day blood drive on Monday, May 10 from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. at The Blood Alliance at Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

The two are contacting everyone they know, urging their friends and friends-of-friends to donate that day. They are specifically targeting 30- and 40-somethings, an age group typically underrepresented among blood donors. They hope to collect at least 50 units [approximately 50 pints] of blood.

The Blood Alliance at Beaufort Memorial Hospital is located at 990 Ribaut Road, Beaufort (directly across the street from hospital’s main campus).

The Blood Alliance, a nonprofit community blood bank headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., is the sole provider of blood to Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

To schedule an appointment, contat Kim Durham at or call 525-1035. WALK-INS ARE MOST WELCOME, TOO and babysitting will be available upon request, with snacks and juice provided, too.


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