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Published April 24, 2012, 09:23 PM

GF Woman Thankful for Dozens of Blood Donors Who Saved Her Life After Birth Complications

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A Grand Forks woman is alive today thanks to 56 people she doesn't even know. They all donated blood that was used to save her life when complications set in after she gave birth.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A Grand Forks woman is alive today thanks to 56 people she doesn't even know. They all donated blood that was used to save her life when complications set in after she gave birth.

Now her husband is spreading the word with the hope that more people will be inclined to donate and help save others lives.

During Florence Azenkeng's 17 days in the hospital, her entire blood supply had to be replaced.

She received 23 pints of red blood cells and 33 pints of other blood products. That's more than two gallons of red blood cells.

"I didn't even know what happened to me," Florence said.

While having her fourth child, scar tissue from a fibroid caused Florence Azenkeng's uterus to rupture. She bled uncontrollably and was in a coma for 72 hours.

"There was a point I thought I was not going to make it," Florence said.

"They struggled there for close to four hours and had to give up because the blood was just coming out at a faster pace than they were able to get it in," Florence's husband Alex Azenkeng said.

But surgeons continued the next day and were finally able to control the bleeding, something her husband, Alex, says they might not have been able to do in west central Africa where the couple came from 11 years ago

"She received a tremendous amount of blood that couldn't have possibly been donated by one person and so we feel especially blessed that we are here in the U.S. where there is that ready amount of blood. If you were in some other places back in africa, she would be no more today," Alex said.

"We were just so fortunate to have our donor base because if we didn't have our donor base, we wouldn't have had that much blood available for them," Mark Jensen at the Dak-Minn Blood Bank said.

Dak-Minn Blood Bank needs an average of 100 donors a week just to meet weekly needs for blood.

"Now we're coming into our summer months, June, July and August are typically our biggest months for blood transfusions, but the most difficult months to recruit," Jense said.

So Alex is stepping up to spread the word so more lives can be saved.

"We really want to encourage you to consider making that blood donation to Altru blood bank because right here with us my wife is a life that has been saved through the many donors that are out there," Alex said.

Dak-Minn is located at Altru Hospital. Walk-ins are welcome Monday through Friday or you can make an appointment to donate blood by calling 780-LIFE.

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