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Family looks back one year after near tragedy, encourages blood donations

Katy Roybal was celebrating the birth of her first child when she suffered complications after childbirth and needed 22 units of blood and platelets. One year later, she and her husband are encouraging others to donate blood.
BY LEIGHANNE MANWARREN Modified: December 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm •  Published: December 25, 2012

To prevent blood shortages, blood drives are scheduled after Christmas, including one sponsored by the Oklahoma City Thunder, she said.

“The Thunder knows our predicament. They step up on this day. This is the fifth year that they have done it, and it's smack in the middle of the holidays,” Gamble said.

The Thunder-sponsored blood drive will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at four locations.

Donors will receive a free Thunder blood donor T-shirt and a chance to win a pair of lower level tickets to a home game.

“This year, I gave blood for the first time and survived. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and I plan on giving regularly now,” Bryan Roybal said. “It would almost seem ridiculous to, at this point, to not give.”

Katy and Bryan Roybal said they are celebrating Jane's first birthday with two parties — one in Edmond and one in New Mexico with Bryan's family.

“Thank you to all the people that give blood. You have made us a family,” Katy Roybal said. “I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for OBI and for other organizations like it. It's so important. If you can do it (give blood), you should.”