Blood Drive To Be Held For Car Crash Survivor

Andrew Crawford. (Photo submitted by Andrew Crawford).

A blood drive will be held in Chatham in honour of a man who beat all odds by miraculously surviving a horrific car crash.

An “In Honour” blood drive dedicated to Andrew Crawford will be held on Wednesday, August 8 from 1pm to 7pm at the Spirit & Life Centre’s St. Joe’s Site, located at 184 Wellington St. W in Chatham.

Five years ago, Crawford was a passenger in a serious single motor vehicle collision in Chatham.

Crawford says he was socializing at a friend’s house with a group of people and someone suggested they go for a ride in their car. He says the driver was going about 85 km/h down Michener Rd., when the ride took a turn for the worse.

“Right at the bend, he ended up not making the turn. The car ended up barrel rolling, rolling off of a light post, then hitting one of those big green residential hydro boxes,” he explains. “The box exploded and the car flipped a bunch of times. While all this was happening, I ended up actually getting thrown out of the vehicle.”

Crawford says he ended up getting electrocuted through his arm and flew about 45-50 ft from the car. He says he had a significant amount of injuries on his body from the crash.

“I had a broken femur, a broken pelvis, my right arm had extensive skin grafting done to it because of the electric burn, my skull was removed for about six months. My brain injury was so significant that they really didn’t know if I was going to be able to live, or walk, or talk, or anything after the accident,” he says.

Crawford says he’s also blind in his right eye and is missing a pinky finger. He says he ended up receiving 86 units of blood and had over 20 surgeries.

“When I ended up starting working with Canadian Blood Services, I learned that the average car accident victim receives up to 50 units of blood. When I found out that they actually had given me 86 units, I thought they did so much more than I would have ever expected them to do for me,” he says. “I just ended up kind of taking it on as kind of a personal challenge for the rest of my life to raise awareness of blood donation.”

Crawford says you can help at least three lives in the 15 minutes it takes to donate and feel good about yourself the rest of the day.

“I can guarantee you that I wouldn’t be living if that blood wasn’t available. That’s one of the biggest things that I see day in and day out working with Canadian Blood Services. The flow of blood leaving our inventory is on the constant. There’s always the need for blood with cancer patients and with car accident victims. It is one of those resources that’s never enough to help what we need,” he says.

Crawford also says the event will be highlighting the importance of first responders in Chatham-Kent, who helped save his life after the accident.