COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) - Chief Michael Kelly has been at the Columbia Police Department for almost three years. Since being appointed, the department has continued hosting blood drives.
“The police department, actually prior to me coming, they hosted a yearly blood drive, so I certainly wanted to keep that up,” Kelly said. “We like to do a couple a year, just because we have a very giving community and they always come out and respond.”
In addition to giving back and helping the local blood bank, Chief Kelly knows firsthand the value of blood donations.
“It means something to me, these blood drive do, because of my son, who has a chronic illness and he’s had more blood products than I can count,” Kelly said.
Chief Kelly says his son, Bowen, was born with a medical disorder. He says hospital visits were very frequent at one point.
“He got his nutrition through a central line, he was on TPN, he couldn’t eat,” Kelly said. “One of the monsters that kids with central lines have to deal with is the infection and his line would get infected and he would have blood infections and one of those actually led to him being septic and almost losing his life and had to replace a lot of his blood because of that.”
Bowen was four-years-old when this happened. Today, he is eight-years-old, enjoying some foods and thankfully hasn’t had a blood transfusion in more than three years.
“We say that he’s here, number one, because the Lord saved him, and number two is because there was somebody out there, who knows who they are, but they gave blood and platelets and all the things that he needed,” Kelly said.
We often hear about the importance of blood donations and Chief Kelly says there’s a reason for that.
“You know their tag line, their marketing strategy is, you know, ‘You can save a life by giving blood,’” Kelly said. “To me, that’s more than a marketing strategy or a tag line, that’s the truth. I’ve seen it personally.”
The Columbia Police Department’s next blood drive will be held on September 11.