Powerlifters are strong. It’s not just about physical ability – mental strength is key too. When Elyse, an Octapharma Plasma employee, won her first powerlifting competition, she had conquered most of the obstacles she had faced to make her a winner before she ever set foot in a gym.
In 2008, Elyse was in a horrific car accident which left her unable to walk for over 18 months. She suffered several broken bones and fractures, a collapsed lung, and deep lacerations to her left leg. While she doesn’t remember much from that day, she distinctly recalls what saved her life: a plasma transfusion.
On the way to the hospital and during her numerous surgeries, Elyse received several plasma transfusions as she had lost a lot of blood. Approximately 40 separate plasma donations were needed to make the life-saving medicines she received.
Plasma is an incredibly valuable resource to the medical community, both in treating trauma patients and for those with rare and chronic diseases. The supply of plasma relies solely on human donations.
Car accidents such as the one that Elyse was in are unfortunately common. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates nearly 43,000 people died in motor accidents in the USA in 2021, and that figure is 1.4 million globally.
“The amount of plasma donations needed to treat the tens of thousands of people experiencing a traumatic accident in the USA every year just truly makes you realise how important this industry is,” Elyse says.
A few years after her own accident, Elyse joined Octapharma Plasma where she now works as a Quality Assurance Supervisor. In her role, she coaches and develops her team while ensuring the wellbeing of donors and, ultimately, the safety of patients. While she began the job independently of her own relationship with plasma, Elyse now sees educating the public about the importance of plasma donation as her life’s work.
In the years since her accident, Elyse has spent a lot of time rehabilitating her body. Through countless hours in the gym, she has become an accomplished powerlifter. She believes the transfusions she received helped her push past the physical limitations inflicted by the accident.
Today, Elyse wants to show the world the radical and life-altering change plasma can make in a person’s life, and she takes every chance she gets to tell Octapharma Plasma donors that their donation truly matters: “Without plasma, simply put, I would not be alive today.”