A Gift You Can’t Buy

Update Dec. 19, 2017: This December, Collin’s brothers followed through on their commitment and became blood donors -- giving someone else the gift of life this Christmas.

Christmas Eve of 2011, the Savell family’s greatest gift wasn’t festively wrapped and nestled under the Christmas tree. After having the youngest of their three boys rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, their most important gift came from someone they had never met. 

The Savell Family

“Without receiving blood, Collin probably wouldn’t be here with us,” said Angela Savell about her youngest son. About five years ago, life changed for these Texarkana residents. Angela’s then 8-year-old son Collin had what she thought was a common stomach bug, but resulted in a visit to the hospital and multiple lifesaving blood transfusions.

Diagnosed with an AV malformation in his intestinal tract, Collin has had to rely on donated blood often. His mother explains that although he takes a high dose of iron, his body is just not able to compensate for the amount of blood he is losing. Within a year of his first transfusion, Collin had more than 15 units of blood. “Blood transfusions are, when you have a child with that type of bleeding disorder, they are the only thing that is going to make him able to function,” says Collin’s mother, Angela.

Collin Savell is described by his mother as a “clown” who loves to make everybody laugh. He even has a “fun bag” that goes with him every time they go to the hospital for a blood transfusion.

Angela, a nurse, now keeps blood donation close to her heart and says the same of Collin and his brothers. Collin enjoys participating in blood drives and has asked when the next one will be, while his brothers are anxiously awaiting their 16th birthdays so they can begin giving blood and helping others like their brother.