Heart transplant teen thanks blood donors

Orange County Register | Courtney Perkes

While awaiting a transplant, Donovan Ho was kept alive by donated blood. He recently got a chance to thank 11 of his benefactors.

Donovan Ho, 17, felt his heart beat a little faster as he stood at a microphone in front of a room full of strangers, wearing black skinny jeans and an untucked shirt and tie.

Two years ago, Donovan was lying in a UCLA hospital bed waiting for a heart to become available for transplant. What sustained him were a series of smaller donations – in all, 72 units of blood, plasma and platelets – that he received during his four-month stay.

Usually, the process is anonymous. Donors give and have no idea who receives. Recipients, if they are conscious, see nothing but a bag of blood dripping from an IV pole. But Friday, Donovan and his family, who live in Orange, were given the opportunity to meet and thank 11 of his donors.