Recipient Stories

Justen Yerger

It was opening day of dove season in 1997 when 19 year old Justen Yerger leaned his shotgun against the bumper of his truck. The gun slid, fired and hit Justen in the leg piercing his femoral artery. Bleeding profusely, Justen managed to get to the cab of his truck and duct tape his injured leg. A passerby rushed Justen to the nearest hospital where months of surgeries and rehab took place.

Throughout the hospital stay Justen received over 150 units of red blood cells and numerous units of plasma and platelets.

His determination and will to save his leg paid off; at least for 18 years. Justen recently underwent a lower leg amputation after suffering health related complications associated with his previous leg injuries. Justen received another two pints of blood during his amputation surgery. Still smiling, Justen remains amazed by his medical recovery and by the fullness of his adult life. Justen married Stacie a few years after the accident and they have two beautiful children; Brooks, 7 and Bella, 5. The children are anxious and excited for their dad to get his new “robot” leg. Justen declares, again, 18 years later, “You never know when you will need blood.”