When a Good Samaritan saves somebody’s life, they are often lauded publicly as a hero. But Rod Tyndall of Bixby would have to throw a big party for his heroes - he has 87 of them. “It’s kind of overwhelming,” he said recently when he met two of the people who saved his life by donating blood. Tim Baker, 60, and Mitchell Gorman, 25, shared cake and stories with Tyndall. “I’ve donated blood so many years and most of the time I don’t know where it goes,” Baker said. Gorman, a pre-med and Spanish major at the University of Tulsa, was just 18 when he donated the blood that went to Tyndall. “It’s something you never really think a whole lot about. I try to donate pretty regularly.” It started in mid-May 2004 when Tyndall went to the emergency room for a severe stomachache. During surgery for what doctors feared was some kind of blockage, they discovered he had Crohn’s disease. As he was about to go home, his condition took a turn for the worse. By Memorial Day weekend, doctors told Tyndall’s wife, Sindi, that her husband wouldn’t survive because his organs were shutting down and he had sepsis. She brought in the couple’s two young boys to say goodbye to their father. But Tyndall kept holding on, even with kidney dialysis and more surgeries. Then he began to lose blood at breakneck speed. “It looked like more blood was coming out of his body that was going in,” Sindi Tyndall said. Over a period of 36 hours, Tyndall was infused with 87 units of blood products, including red blood cells, plasma and platelets. “He started stabilizing. By the end of June, we started waking him up,” Sindi Tyndall said. The amount of blood Tyndall required is typically seen only in traumas, such as automobile wrecks, said Crystal Farrimond, executive director of the nonprofit Oklahoma Blood Institute’s Tulsa center. “That is ten times the amount of an average person’s blood volume. It is not something that is routine,” she said. “There is nothing routine about Rod,” chuckled Marietta Farmer, Tyndall’s co-worker at Spirit Aerosystems who organized the blood drive for him when he fell ill. Until Tyndall’s need, she said she didn’t realize OBI supplies the blood for 85 percent of Oklahoma hospitals. So that’s why she turned to OBI to arrange a blood drive for Tyndall. Now Tyndall, 48, is back to work full-time and can do nearly anything he wants to do. “I’ve never seen someone so determined from day one to get over something,” Farmer said. Tyndall’s wife, Sindi, says God has a purpose for Tyndall’s life. “He’s a miracle. That’s all there is to it,” she said. Kim Archer 581-8315
Oklahoma Blood Institute’s Blood Thanks and Giving Day is Monday, Aug. 2:
About 60,000 blood donors are encouraged to wear symbolic armbands. And blood recipients are encouraged to wear wristbands that read “I am ALIVE thanks to a blood donor.”
Wristbands and armbands may be picked up any of 12 OBI donor centers throughout the state.
For more information about donating blood through OBI, go to tulsaworld.com/obi
Source: Oklahoma Blood Institute