“I thought my life was over just dead on the spot I thought it was my last,” says Samuel Tutt, an 11 year old in Aiken.
This isn't an 11 year old boy being melodramatic: In February Sam and his big sister were roughousing over an iPhone.
“She chased me into the bathroom and I was trying to hold the door,” he says.
“When I opened the door he fell back and I thought I was going to lose my baby brother,” his big sister Christina says.
Sam's arm went through an old shower door.
“It turned into like knives and one of the knives got my main artery,” he says.
“The glass came in here and went out about here,” he shows.
Immediately he started bleeding out.
“When I fell through the glass it sounded like a dump a gallon of milk over,” Sam says.
His family rushed him to Aiken Regional, where his aunt is a nurse. She is a regular blood donor and gave only two days before–it turns out she was the same type. She met Sam at the car and knew her nephew needed blood.
“There was blood all over the front seat,” says Sam's aunt Scarlet Woodward. It had started clotting. It looked like someone died in that car””
In those moments there was nothing family members could do to save Sam.
“Helpless, very helpless, this is my baby my only son,” Sam's mother Marisol says.
It's what others like Scarlet did days before: Donated.
“Before he even went back for surgery he had two and a half units,” says Scarlet.
“Dr. Paxton said he had two to three more minutes,” Marisol adds.
Now the family is on a crusade to try to play a role in saving someone like Sam.
“This could be your child in the hospital needing blood,” Marisol says, urging others to give.
They're vigilantly banking as often as they're able and pulling everyone they can with them.
“Come on,” Scarlet says, “you can do it, I'll hold your hand.”
Soon someone else will be putting blood in those bags: Sam has big plans for a future birthday.
“As soon as my 18th birthday,” Sam says, “I'm going to find a blood drive and give blood.
Because blood is the best gift he's ever gotten.