Emily and Alison Go the Extra Mile by Donating Blood for Sammi

Nov 27 2023

Samantha “Sammi” Palmieri (pictured above, right) has thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder where the body makes an abnormal form or inadequate amount of hemoglobin.

As part of her treatment at Mercy Health – St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, Sammi receives frequent blood transfusions. It’s beneficial for her to know who donates blood for her transfusions so she does not develop antibodies.

So, one of our oncology nurses, Emily Perry (pictured above, left), and our lead medical assistant, Alison Trebus-Eastman (pictured above, middle), are among those who donate blood for Sammi.

“It was important to me to donate my blood to Sammi because I know she depends on blood transfusions to survive and thrive,” Alison shares. “I will continue to donate as long as I can to help those in need. Not only am I helping Sammi, I have also gained a friend.”

Emily expands on this, saying, “Being a direct donor increases a patient’s quality of life, which is our ultimate goal as health care workers. We see our patients so frequently and learn so much about them, they become family. If I can help in any way to make our patients’ lives easier and healthier, I will.”

Emily adds, “Sammi was one of my first patients as an oncology nurse, so she holds a special place in my heart. It felt very rewarding to help her. It makes me so happy to know that I can help make Sammi’s journey easier in such a personal way.”

Christine Smoot, regional nurse manager for medical oncology and medical infusion in our Youngstown market, is proud of her team members for going the extra mile to help a patient.

“I always knew that Alison and Emily were a huge part of our amazing staff,” she says. “When I heard about them donating their own blood for Samantha, it spoke volumes. Their actions demonstrate their commitment to our community and willingness to go above and beyond to make a difference. What a remarkable act of giving.”

Alison and Emily began their donations for Sammi in February of this year. As of November, Sammi is still receiving regular treatments at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital and is doing well.

Emily shares, “Sammi’s treatments are going well, and she always lights up the unit when she comes with her positive attitude and jokes. Sammi is such a kind soul and deserves so much in life. We are so happy to be part of her journey and have had the best time getting to know such a wonderful person!”

“Sammi always has a positive attitude and a brightening smile when she comes in,” Alison adds.

Alison is scheduled soon for her second blood donation to Sammi.

“My first experience donating for Sammi was flawless,” she recalls. “It was very similar to any other blood donation that I have done, except it has a lot more meaning to it. When you donate blood, you never know who is receiving it. However, by doing the direct donation to Sammi, I know who is getting it and that she really needs my donation to help keep her well.”

And Emily has already donated a total of two units of blood for Sammi.

“Each experience donating with the American Red Cross has been very pleasant,” she says. “The staff knows what they are doing and make me feel so comfortable. A lot of the workers know Sammi, and they are so happy we are part of her journey they make us feel very special.”

Christine adds that it’s still incredibly rewarding and fulfilling to know that two of her team members are dedicated to improving patient outcomes.

“It demonstrates the commitment and passion of our team in making a positive impact on health care. I am proud to support them in this important endeavor.”

This holiday season, we are celebrating by spreading the good news! Read more thankful stories, like this one, that feature our team members, patients and the wonderful communities we are blessed to serve.

Also, learn about the health care services we provide at Mercy Health.

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