July 22, 1989. It was sunny and scorching hot, and I was a 13-year old getting to go on a motorcycle ride with my dad, so everything was right with the world. Carefree. Safe.
Amanda Gouthiere and her daughter Julianna
You don’t worry when you’re a child and your parents are driving you. You just feel like it’s all going to be OK. We pulled out of a parking lot into an intersection, and then in a flash, nothing was ever going to be the same. We had been hit by a car.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was lying on the median, on my left side, with my right leg crossed over my left leg. I leaned up to see my leg and tried to comprehend what had happened. I could see straight into my knee: blood, dirt, bone, grass, tissue, everything. My leg hung together only by the piece of skin on the back of my knee, and that was it. Fireman Fred Johnson gave me a stuffed animal at the scene and stayed by my side as I took that journey to the hospital.
I underwent four surgeries in six days and was hospitalized for nearly three weeks. Had I not received blood transfusions thanks to LifeShare Blood Centers and its blood donors, I would not be here today. Accidents are just that, accidents, and they happen very quickly. It was me and my dad, but it could be any of us at any time, and I thank God that LifeShare Blood Centers is there for us in those times of need – accidents, disasters, cancer and illnesses and so much more.
Out of that accident birthed an idea from my daughter Julianna to give stuffed animals to children in hard life situations. At 6 years old, she created Bear Share. Now 9 years old, she has donated over 8,500 stuffed animals to children in hard life situations in four states, all to share God’s love in their time of need. We call it Geaux Show Love.
What better way to Geaux Show Love than to give the gift of LIFE!