A Tri-Cities family is taking a medical emergency and turning it into a blessing for others. The Donahue family says hosting a blood and stuffed animal drive is the least they can do to give back.

Kyle and Cortni Donahue always keep a close eye on their daughter Teaguen, making sure she stays safe. Teaguen is in kindergarten at Doak Elementary School in Greeneville, Tennessee.

“Teaguen was diagnosed with a blood disorder called Von Willebrand Disease, and she was hospitalized with internal bleeding in January,” her dad Kyle says. “So we wanted to give back. She had to be infused with three pints of blood so we wanted to give back in that manner. But we also wanted to give some stuffies because they gave her comfort during her time in the hospital.”

Donahue says the hospital staff made her well again.

“It’s is definitely very comforting for us, knowing that right here in our backyard, we have a nice children’s hospital,” he says. “She’s been there multiple times for the same thing. And every time we go, we’ve got excellent care. And they’ve not only cared for her physically but also care for her emotionally and spiritually. So we’re very thankful for that.”

But Teaguen’s special “stuffie” helped her get through her stay. That’s why the Donahues were inspired to hold a blood and stuffed animal drive at Teaguen’s school, Doak Elementary, to give back all that was given to them.

Teaguen’s mom Cortni says, “So we got the idea to do this blood drive. When Teaguen’s staff members at her school said, Hey, let’s give back all that was given to you. And so it’s really cool because I’m a teacher at the school that she attends. And so it just felt so wonderful for the staff there that I work with. But also that takes care of her daily to say, hey, let’s do this.”

Her parents hope the blood, and Teaguen hopes the stuffies, are there when someone needs them.

Teaguen says, “Because we would want them to have axolotls, to have joy in the hospital so they can have a favorite one and keep it to their whole hard time.”

“Your gift of blood gives life,” adds Cortni.