A Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy hopes he did enough, fast enough to save lives. The winter storm shutdown down interstates. It also cut off needed blood supplies. Two deputies were responsible for getting blood to hospitals.
A Shelby County Deputy had blood for Trinity Medical Center. He couldn't get there, so a Jefferson County deputy had to pick it up. They had to change their meeting location multiple times. It became a nearly five hour trek by car and foot.
One week ago, Riverchase Parkway, like so many roads, was frozen and impassable."The hill was extremely treacherous. There were cars blocking the road that were abandoned. Shelby County deputies were at the top of the hill with lights on, so I could see where I needed to go," said Jefferson County Sgt. Paul Huffstutler.
Huffstutler retraced the path made last Tuesday to the blue lights. It's where three coolers of blood for Trinity Medical Center were waiting."The hospital needed blood. That was enough for me," said Huffstutler.
Huffstutler got an alert about the pick up at 4 p.m.. He got the meet up location after multiple failed attempts three hours later."I thought about it the entire four hour 45 minute stretch. I had to do the best I could," said Huffstutler.
He had to avoid impassible roads, wrecking himself, or anything else that would delay the transport. The blood's arrival at Trinity nearly two hours later certainly wasn't anti-climatic."They sent out two nurses fast. They said two boxes were supposed to go to UAB and my heart sank," said Huffstutler.
But that feeling was fleeting. Someone from UAB was waiting for Huffstutler at Trinity. As he drove the same streets again Tuesday, he hoped he helped enough, fast enough.
While blood donations are encouraged this week, supplies are back up and not at emergency levels.