Kirksville mother works to repay a stranger's kindness

The 4th Annual 'Friends of Jersey Jo' blood drive was held Thursday in Kirksville.

It's every parent's worst nightmare, having a sick child, and no way to help.

"I just thought she was not going to make it at all. It was crazy, I don't know what I thought,â?? said Kirksville mother Heather Montgomery.

At only one-month-old, Montgomeryâ??s daughter Jersey Jo started struggling to breathe.

"She was a month old, had RSV, was sent to Columbia, there she was put on a ventilator for 2 weeks," said Montgomery.

At the hospital in Columbia, doctors tried a number of procedures to stabilize Jersey Joâ??s heart rate and ease her breathing, but nothing seemed to work. In the end, it came down to one final option: a blood transfusion.

"Miraculously it worked, somehow,â?? said Montgomery.

A miracle thatâ??s now inspired Montgomery to help others through the annual â??Friends of Jersey Jo Blood Drive.â?? A similar blood drive likely saved her daughter's life, and now Montogomery hopes to return the favor.

"I just think, someone saved her life, and I will never know who that was, and to repay them, I want to help save someone else,â?? said Montgomery.

Montgomery describes her now three and a half-year-old daughter as a happy, funny, crazy red head, who she canâ??t imagine life without. Thanks to a strangerâ??s blood donation she doesnâ??t have to.

"You have no idea what a huge difference it can make in someone's life, because you never think, going into a situation like that, it could make such a huge difference, and I think that was the only thing that truly saved her during that time."

If you were unable to make it out to the Friends of Jersey Jo Blood Drive Thursday, but youâ??re interested in donating, hereâ??s a list of upcoming blood drives in the area:

Aug. 28 â?? Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

4:00 â?? 8:00 p.m.

2000 E Normal

Kirksville, MO 63501

Sept. 3 â?? Brashear Community

2:00 â?? 6:30 p.m.

Keller Community Building

205 S King

Brashear, MO 63533

Sept. 9 and 10 â?? Truman State University

10:30 a.m. â?? 5:30 p.m.

100 East Normal

Kirksville, MO 63501

Sept. 16 â?? Novinger Community

2:00 â?? 6:00 p.m.

Adair County R-1 High School

600 Rombauer

Novinger, MO 63559

For more information about donating blood, click here.