By Eilene Guy, American Red Cross volunteer
April 29, 2020- Ken Fultz is proof positive you’re never too old to save a life, or two, or three.
The spry Sanduskian, who celebrated his 90th birthday in March, did his part for others during this COVID-19 emergency by giving blood at a recent American Red Cross blood drive.
“You know, I would do it again tomorrow if they (would) let me,” Ken said. “Everyone there knew what they were doing, and I got thanked over and over again.”
And well he should be thanked. Under the “stay home and save a life” rules to slow the spread of the deadly virus, scores of blood drives have been cancelled across northern Ohio. But the need for blood never stops, for accident victims; moms and newborns in difficult deliveries; surgery and cancer patients; and men, women and children who rely on transfusions for a healthy life.
“Dad has always been my hero,” Ken’s daughter, Sally Carter, said. “He has always put his family first and his community a close second.
“When the COVID-19 virus started to spread, it was hard to keep him inside and safe. When he suggested maybe he could give blood, we made the necessary phone calls to make it happen.”
And while he was at it, Ken encouraged four other family members to donate blood along with him.
Donating blood was nothing new for Ken: His next donation – which could be as soon as late June – will put him into the 10 Gallon Club. That will mean he’s given 80 units of blood! And if each of those units was separated into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, that amounts to as many as 240 lives saved!
Ken’s generosity isn’t limited to life saving. For more than 25 years, until last fall – at the age of 89 – he delivered Meals on Wheels to an eager group of shut-ins. And he delivered flowers from Zion Lutheran Church to Firelands Regional Medical Center faithfully every week until the hospital had to stop all visits as an infection precaution.
“It’s people like Ken who step forward to help others that are the heart and soul of the Red Cross,” said Christy Peters, northern Ohio regional biomedical communications manager. “They are genuine humanitarians, giving the gift of life.”
To find the date, time and location of your nearest Red Cross blood drive, call 1-800-REDCROSS or access RedCrossBlood.org. Or you can text BLOODAPP to 90999 or search “Red Cross Blood” on the App Store or Goggle Play to get the free Blood Donor App.