Give Local, Save Local
A Christmas Eve accident nearly took the life of a Cullman Electric Cooperative employee, but thanks in part to blood donations, doctors were able to save him. In January, Cullman EC organized a blood drive to celebrate and give back.
Cullman EC lineman Aaron Quick suffered an accidental gunshot wound on Dec. 24, 2018. Doctors at Huntsville Hospital performed emergency surgery that required 130 units of blood, platelets or plasma due to multiple internal injuries caused by the bullet.
While Quick was still in the hospital recovering, Cullman EC organized a blood drive with the goal of replenishing the 130 units of blood that were used to save Quick’s life. During the first two days, Jan 23-24, 2019, LifeSouth Community Blood Center collected 131 units in its Bloodmobile at the Cullman EC office on Eva Road.
“I’ve given blood before, but I never realized how important it was,” said Quick, who was discharged from the hospital two weeks after the accident. He stopped by the office during the blood drive to visit with co-workers and say thanks.
“When I heard the co-op was doing this, it really meant a lot to me,” he said. “Once I get back to giving blood, I’ll give every time I can. My life was saved because someone donated. I’d be willing to help someone else if it could save theirs.”
The blood drive will continue in February with donation days scheduled for the co-op’s Addison office (Feb 1, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and a follow-up day at the Cullman office (Feb. 25, 7-11 a.m.)
Quick was home alone when the accident occurred, but managed to stay alert. He called 911 and stayed on the phone with a dispatcher until an ambulance and helicopter arrived.
“I was stacking guns in a gun safe, and I didn’t know there was a pistol on the shelf,” Quick said. “I knocked the shelf, the pistol slid off and when it hit the floor it fired. I looked down at my shirt and saw blood. I was still alert so I knew I needed to call 911 and get some help.”
Doctors removed Quick’s appendix, spleen and part of his pancreas, but continued to find areas of internal bleeding throughout more than six hours of surgery. Quick was taken to the ICU, and if he could make it through the night, more surgery would be done the next morning.
“I remember getting on the helicopter and that was on Monday afternoon, but the next thing I remember isn’t until probably Friday,” Quick said. “When I started coming to and they were telling me what happened, I didn’t think it was that bad, but I realized I was way wrong.”
Quick hopes to return to work in a limited capacity this spring, and doctors anticipate he will make a full recovery.
“Our co-op family is a pretty tight-knit group,” said Brian Lacy, Cullman EC’s manager of communications and external affairs. “That is especially true of our linemen. Their work is dangerous, and they take great pride in looking after each other. When you see someone you care about fighting to survive, it can be a very helpless feeling, but donating blood is something all of us can do to help.
“We are fortunate Aaron is still with us today, and thankful for all the employees and community members who donated blood. Hopefully the donation made during this blood drive will play a part in helping someone else get a second chance like Aaron has.”