"Immediately after my child was born, I basically went unconscious and at first they didn't know what was going on."
Anita Tapia didn't know it, but she was one of about 50,000 people who have an amniotic fluid embolism during pregnancy which shut down her heart, kidneys, and lungs. It has been described by doctors as the most dangerous and untreatable condition in obstetrics, and it's a condition that put a demand on the need for blood.
"They figured it was greater than 150 units of blood and blood products that they gave me within those first two days," Anita says.
Anita's husband is in the Navy, and immediately sailors wanted to help. So they joined an effort to build up the blood supply needed to keep Anita alive. More than 150 people gave blood to ensure that she would be here this Christmas to enjoy her family.
"Without the blood, I wouldn't be here," Anita says. "Haley wouldn't have a mother and my husband wouldn't have a wife, so there's no doubt in my mind that without all of that blood there wouldn't be a me."
It's called the gift of life, and donating blood has become something that Anita and her family understand even more now knowing that it's a valued tool in saving lives and keeping families together.
"My father said that his Christmas present was me and my daughter, so he said that was the best Christmas present he could ever get."
There will be three more blood drives coming up at the start of the New Year.