А Routine Blood Donation Left Young Woman Permanently Disabled

A 21-year-old woman was left permanently disabled after a routine blood donation. 

  • Gabriella Ekman, 21, has lost mobility in her arm after donating blood.
  • Allegedly, the nurse drew blood from one of her arteries instead of a vein.
  • Weeks after no one believed her something was wrong, she had to undergo a life-saving surgery, which left her permanently disabled.

When Gabriella Ekman, of Ontario, Canada, was 17, she decided to donate blood for the first time in her life. Terribly, her good deed turned into a horrible memory and a permanent loss for the young woman.

Credits: Gabriella Ekman

As Oddity Central reveals, Gabriella lost mobility in her right arm after a botched blood donation in which a nurse drew blood from one of her arteries instead of a vein. At the time of the donation, the then-teenager felt something was not right. However, as this was her first time giving blood, she wasn’t sure what was wrong, so she didn’t say anything. Shockingly, she overheard the medical staff commenting on how oxygenated her blood seemed, which is an indication that it may have come from an artery, instead of a vein.

In an interview with CTV News, the 21-year-old recalls:

“It was about maybe 10 to 15 minutes later I started to feel that something didn’t feel right. I hadn’t given blood before, so I didn’t know what to expect.”

When Gabriella realized something was not going as planned, it was already too late. 

Trying to figure out what was going on, the young woman told a member of the medical staff that she was feeling an unusual pain in her arm. Instead of considering her complaint as soon as possible, they told her to go to the hospital. After Gabriella visited the hospital, doctors there couldn’t find anything wrong and told her to go home.

The following weeks were incredibly painful for Ekman. She became unable to straighten her arm and developed a massive bruising from her wrist to her shoulder. That’s when she went back to the hospital, where she learned that her blood draw was indeed from her artery.

Credits: Gabriella Ekman

Following emergency life-saving surgery, Gabriella lost mobility in her right arm. Physicians tried to help her regain at least part of her movement, but, sadly, the procedures were ineffective.

Doctors diagnosed the young woman with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

CRPS is a rare form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. It usually develops after a traumatic injury.

Gabriella, who has been living with CRPS for years now, says this has “ruined” her life.

“It feels like it’s ruined my life, it’s taken away my future. I can’t look in the mirror without thinking about how much I’ve been hurt and how my future feels like it’s being taken away from me for trying to give life to other people.”

Apart from the physical difficulties Gabriella experiences on a daily basis, she also suffers from serious mental health issues due to her condition. The young woman is in a constant battle with PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

Credits: GoFundMe / Gabriella Ekman

Ekman is now seeking financial compensation from Canadian Blood Services – the center where she donated blood back in 2016. There is also a GoFundMe page for anyone who would like to help her throughout her recovery journey.

Despite being so severely let down by the medical system, Gabriella still believes in blood donation.

“I believe people should donate blood. I believe giving life to someone else is such a beautiful thing… But it shouldn’t cost you everything.”

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