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Published on December 09, 2016

From blood recipient to dedicated blood donorFrom blood recipient to dedicated blood donor

169Rosa Giberti’s next blood donation will be her eighth – one for every day she was in a hospital after a traumatic accident in 2013.

On that January morning, Rosa, then a 16-year-old high school sophomore, was crossing a street near her Centerville home to catch a school bus. A car that had failed to stop for the bus, hit her, throwing her over the hood and onto the ground.

First responders from the Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Fire Department rushed her to the hospital.

“My injuries were serious but not life-threatening,” she said. “I suffered a break to the femur and my femoral artery was severed. I had multiple lacerations and abrasions. I had to have plastic surgery to my face. It was very traumatic.

“I was in the hospital for eight days and I received at least one unit of blood per day. I was in rehab for another 12 days and I was on crutches for three months.”

Her First Blood Drive

About 14 months after the accident, Cape Cod Healthcare hosted a blood drive at Barnstable High School and Rosa was right there to participate.

“I was inspired to donate because of what happened to me,” she said. “I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, but it felt great afterwards. I knew I was going to be helping someone in need, just like someone helped me.”

Rosa has continued to donate blood and now encourages her fellow students at American International College in Springfield to donate.

“I try to get as many kids out here to donate as I can. I tell them to drink a lot of water beforehand, and then relax. It only takes 10 minutes. You might feel a little pinch, but it’s not painful.”

Rosa is in the second year of a six-year doctoral program  in physical therapy, possibly with a minor in psychology. Her choice was inspired by her own experience as a patient.

“My recovery was very painful. The physical therapy was very tough, but over time, it got better. I’m standing now, so that’s a good sign.”

She recently donated blood in a drive near her college campus.

“My next donation will be my eighth, so that’s going to be a very big milestone for me – a donation for every unit I received. Then I’ll keep on donating. I plan to continue giving for the rest of my life.”