Blood donors help keep one local man alive

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SULPHUR, OK -- All his life, Lonnie Britt has helped others, and made an impact in their lives as a social worker. But now, other people are making a big impact in his life.

In mid 2012, Lonnie noticed something was wrong.

"We went on a cruise, and I got deathly sick, and couldn't even leave the room," Lonnie said.

His condition got worse, and he was diagnosed with stage four Cirrhosis of the liver.

"I started losing a lot of muscle tone, and right now, I've lost about 100 pounds of muscle, and that's why I have to use this walker," said Lonnie.

Lonnie says during that time, he started losing a lot of blood, but with help from the Oklahoma Blood Institute and the community, he received over 80 units.

He said blood donations gave him hope to stay strong.

"There would be no way of me staying alive," said Lonnie. "I'd be gone probably a year, year and a half ago."

But the fight isn't over for Lonnie. He's now waiting to be put on a transplant list, and if he does receive a new liver, he'll need more blood.

"I will need 40 units of blood even if I get the liver transplant," Lonnie said. "I'll need to have that much blood on standby."

Lonnie says he'll never stop giving up, and wants to return to doing what he loves -- helping people.

"I would like to give back to the community," Lonnie said. "I would like to get back some of the strength to go and see some of the people I need to see, and visit with the people that can't get out, and need someone to talk to."

He says he's grateful for those who have helped him, and that every donation makes a meaningful impact on those in need.

"You're giving someone the life to live," said Lonnie. "If it weren't for them then I wouldn't have that hope."

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