CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s been almost three years since Diane Eubank was nearly decapitated in an ATV accident. On Christmas Eve 2018, the accident left her head hanging on by only her spine after she ran into a barbed-wire fence that pierced her neck, arms and broke her jaw.
Eubank lost a lot of blood that day. She shared her story at a time when the blood supply is dangerously low across the state, urging anyone who can give the gift of life.
“In the blink of a minute I was through a barbed wire fence, laying there, internally decapitated, arms ripped down and bleeding, desperately needing blood,” Eubank said. “I was very close to not making it. If that blood had not been there for me, I would not be here today.”
An accident can happen to anyone at any moment. As blood supply levels remain dangerously low, trauma surgeons fear what could happen without their most important tool.
“We have to have these resources available all the time and ready to go at a moment’s notice because we never know when that next patient is rolling in,” UAB Chief of Trauma Dr. Daniel Cox said. “If everybody knew they were at risk for having a trauma in the next hour, they wouldn’t be having the trauma.”
Cox said the leading cause of death in trauma comes from bleeding. Without that tool, someone like Eubank may not get a chance for survival.
“Our biggest thing is trying to stop bleeding and replenish the blood that has been lost,” Cox said. “The thought of somebody coming in, somebody that we could salvage, to have that compromised by not having enough blood resources available, that should never happen.”
On Monday, we reported that blood supply levels at UAB were only 20 percent of where the hospital system would like to see them – some of the lowest levels doctors have seen in decades.
“It kind of really scares me,” Eubank said. “The fact that there’s not enough blood to save one injury, something like me, might happen right now.”
Eubank still has limited neck mobility, hearing and walking, but she got her second chance at life.
“I still trip up a little, I’m still not perfect,” she said. “But I am grateful I’m here.”
She wants everyone to get that second chance that she had.
“I’m here today because several people saved my life,” Eubank said. “They didn’t know it when they gave that blood, but they saved my life.”
For the first time since her accident, Eubank has been cleared to start giving blood again. She plans to donate at Daystar Church in Cullman during a blood drive on Nov. 21 and encourages anyone who can to give the gift of life.