Blood drive to honor Cumberland crash survivor draws 102 donors

Blood drive to honor Cumberland crash survivor draws 102 donors

Cumberland resident Emily Faria rests after donating a pint of blood on her 20th birthday last Tuesday, Aug. 28, at Cumberland High School. (Breeze photo by Nicole Dotzenrod)

CUMBERLAND – Members of the community came together to help save 306 individuals by donating blood at last week’s blood drive held in the Cumberland High School Transitional Building in honor of Cameron Faria, a 17-year-old CHS student who is recovering after surviving a car accident on July 5.

A one-pint bag of blood – one donation – can save up to three lives, according to the Rhode Island Blood Center, which facilitated last Tuesday’s drive at CHS. In total, 102 people donated, with 19 being turned away for various reasons. Of the 102 donors, 24 were first-timers.

The idea for the drive came from Faria’s mother, Michelle Rondeau Faria, who posted on Facebook that she was inspired by those who donated the blood that was helping her son while he was in intensive care awaiting surgery on his skull.

In all, Faria had four blood transfusions following the accident.

“It was day six after Cameron’s accident that inspired my thought for the blood drive,” his mother wrote. “The nurse told me his blood counts were a little low and since he was having surgery the following day to remove half of his skull, he needed the extra blood. I immediately was so grateful for whoever took the time to donate that very bag of blood and the ones that followed that were helping to save Cameron’s life.”

Faria’s family and friends said the blood drive was a great way to pay forward the community’s kindness and support for Cameron.

Jill Morrison Chakour, a family friend who helped organize the drive, said Michelle Faria was, “overwhelmed and so grateful for the number of people who came.”

Chakour said Faria is “doing better, but it will be a long road and a long recovery.”

The CHS student and wrestler sustained serious head trauma and was in a coma after his accident on Route 495 in Middleboro, Mass., in early July, as the teen and two other men were traveling to a summer landscaping job.

Massachusetts State Police were investigating the cause of the accident that occurred when the vehicle’s driver, a 26-year-old from Providence, lost control of the 2003 Ford F-350, which rolled over and crashed into a tree. The driver and Faria became trapped in the vehicle when it caught fire, but were freed with help of a passerby.

The driver was transported to Tobey Hospital in Wareham before being flown via MedFlight to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, police said. Faria was flown by MedFlight to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

A GoFundMe page was created after the accident to assist the family with medical costs, raising $35,000 in three days and a total of $51,200 in one month. So far, nearly 700 people have made donations.