Valley Residents Work to Help Sutherland Springs Victims

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HARLINGEN – On Monday night, an effort to help the victims of Sutherland Springs began. A Harlingen man made his way to the blood bank to do whatever he could.

Luiz Ramirez has type O positive blood, the most common blood type. He said he wanted to donate for Sutherland Springs victims.

He has to come back in 48 hours because he took aspirin Sunday night, he said. He will be back as soon as possible because giving blood is something he likes to do.

Ramirez made a habit out of donating blood a long time ago.

"I've actually been donating for over ten years. I started in high school," said Ramirez.

Monday, he was in a hurry to get to the UBS office.

"I'm actually here today for the tragedy, the church shooting that happened yesterday," he added. "I would like to see it go to the patients out there in Sutherland Springs."

Ramirez said he found joy in helping others with his donations.

"It feels great. Usually, when I do donate, within about a week later, maybe two weeks, I'll usually get a text message from United Blood Services stating that my blood was given to a person in need," said Ramirez.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to Frank Esparza, the regional director of United Blood Services. He said although his organization is prepared to help Sutherland Springs victims, his group needs help from people such as Ramirez.

"We always need blood on the shelves that is ready to go should we have an incident. We never know where an incident, could be next door," said Esparza.

Though Esparza said Ramirez's type O positive blood is in demand, type O negative is in higher demand. The organization immediately offered what it had.

"We have a depot in San Antonio, we sent some O negative blood to that area just in case there would be a need for it," he noted.

Esparza said UBS is always in need of donors with type O negative and other types of blood. He hopes people in the Rio Grande Valley see the situation in Sutherland Springs and relate it to our local need for blood, too.

The more donors the better. Esparza said all types of blood need to be on the shelf for emergencies in hospitals everywhere.


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