MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- The Walker family of Wetumpka is picture perfect. Jeff and Brooke Walker are parents to identical twins, Bailey and Brenna.
But that picture was nearly shattered by disaster 16 months ago.
"We ended up having a very rare and exciting emergency birth. I had a rare placental disorder, which caused me and the girls to hemorrhage. At that point, all of us needed blood to survive," Brooke Walker said.
A team of doctors quickly began blood transfusions to save Brooke and her two daughters. Luckily, they succeeded.
"We definitely are living, breathing proof of the power of the donation of blood, because you're looking at 3 people who would not be here without it," she explained.
It's a life or death situation that happens more often than you'd think.
Local hospitals constantly request donated blood to keep their patients alive, but sometimes, it's hard to keep up with demand.
Our emergency department gives out between 30 and 40 units at a time, if a patient is critical," explained Dr. Pam Newman, Lab System Director of Baptist Health.
Many area hospitals rely on donations from LifeSouth community blood centers. Blood given there stays in the community.
Still, the local need for donations is paramount, so every little bit helps.
'It's just word of mouth. If one person gets somebody else to come in and give, we basically fill our hospital shelves one unit at a time," explained Cherita Saulmarshall, LifeSouth's Donations Collections Manager.
Units that keep families like the Walkers from the brink of catastrophe.
"They gave me a second chance at life, and they gave the girls an opportunity to start life, which is awesome, because they wouldn't be here," Brooke Walker said.
FRIDAY, WSFA 12 NEWS IS TEAMING UP WITH LIFESOUTH COMMUNITY BLOOD BANK FOR OUR "GIVE FROM THE HEART" BLOOD DRIVE.