Golden catalyst for blood drive

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Matthew Golden, 5, continues his recovery at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham and remains off his ventilator.

Doctors removed him the ventilator on Friday, Jan. 30 and his family continues to wait for him to be moved to a private room, his father, Jerry Golden said.

Jerry Golden returned home to Greenville this week to work some at Stabler Clinic where he manages the facility.

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He said his wife, Vickie, remains at their son’s side watching over him.

On Matthew’s website, his mother posted how great it was that she was allowed to help bathe her son and then hold him.

&uot;It had been 38 days since I have had my arms around Matthew,&uot; she wrote. &uot;Christmas night was the last squeeze hug I had gotten from the boys.&uot;

The young Golden sustained serious injuries in an automobile accident on Dec. 28 on Ala. Highway 10 W. After being taken to L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital, he was airlifted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital.

As news about Matthew’s accident spread, people from around the country have asked what they can do to help, and the Goldens asked donations be made to the Ronald McDonald House Charity and the Alabama Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Now, there is another way people can help.

The American Red Cross, the hospital and Southside Baptist Church will host a blood drive in Matthew’s honor from noon to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18.

Tracie Colvin, Red Cross account manager, said the organizations wanted to do something for Matthew, especially since his mother has aided others.

&uot;Vicki is usually the one at the hospital who coordinates our drives in the area so we wanted to do this for Matthew,&uot; she said. &uot;We will also have a blood drive that same day in Birmingham at Children’s Hospital.&uot;

The Greenville blood drive will take place at Southside Baptist Church at 211 King Street in the church’s fellowship hall.

The Goldens are members at the church.

However, this drive is open to all and is in support of Matthew.

According to Colvin, the Red Cross provided the three units of blood that Matthew received following his accident.

This is a critical time for the Red Cross.

The Red Cross is asking that everyone give blood and the need remains urgent, and the emergency need will continue for several more weeks.

&uot;The Red Cross in Alabama looks to be on its own for blood until this blood crisis is over,&uot; said Mark Beddingfield, COO of the American Red Cross Blood Services Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Region. &uot;We need local donors now to come forward. We currently have about a quarter of one day’s supply.&uot;

By stepping forward and giving blood, local citizens will help local patients and what a great way to honor young Matthew Golden and help at the same time.

Some hospitals have had to cancel serious surgeries as well as elective surgeries because of the drought of donors. Red Cross donor centers are open to the public.

Colvin said donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Donating blood is quite safe and all supplies are only used once and then destroyed.

According to Carolyn Spears with Stabler’s, this gives everyone the opportunity to help, in a very special way.

&uot;For those out there who have wanted to do something for Matthew and the Goldens, but didn’t know what, this is a great thing,&uot; she said.

&uot;We will also have a giant card that we want everyone to sign and we will then deliver it to Matthew in the hospital.&uot;

Spears said the hospital has really pulled together over Matthew and his family, and want to make his mother’s worries a little less.

&uot;We have all divided up her job duties until she is able to come back and will continue to do so forever how long it takes,&uot; she said.

Colvin said the Red Cross provides the blood to Children’s Hospital and also to Stabler’s.