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Red Cross holds blood drive in honor of Williamson County resident, Sheila Fitzgerald

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive in honor of Williamson County resident Sheila Fitzgerald Friday, Oct. 12, noon to 5 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Franklin.

On Sept. 29, 2011 Sheila was riding her motorcycle home from dinner with friends in Franklin. She was headed north on Mack Hatcher, approaching the intersection at Cool Springs Boulevard, when a woman in a car failed to yield at a traffic light. The woman went through the intersection and hit Sheila’s left side.

Sheila’s husband, Lt. Bill Fitzgerald is a 25-year veteran with the Franklin Fire Department. He was on his motorcycle behind her and witnessed the accident. Lt. Fitzgerald was the first person by Sheila’s side and was there when she was flown to Vanderbilt Medical Center via LifeFlight. Miraculously, she survived the accident, but her left leg was badly mangled, bones were broken throughout her body and she had severe bruising.

For close to a year, Sheila and her team of doctors went through physical therapy and multiple procedures to save her left leg. But, in September 2012 an infection spread in her leg and doctors were forced to amputate.

Despite all she has been through, Sheila has chosen to look at the bright side. She’s quick to tell you she feels blessed to have felt such a strong outpouring of love and support from friends and family throughout the Williamson County community.

The Franklin Fire Department made adjustments to the Fitzgerald’s home to allow Sheila to get around easier. The Franklin Noon Rotary held two cookouts that raised thousands of dollars to help pay for Sheila’s medical bills. Friends and family have been by her side. And now, in honor of the one-year anniversary of her wreck, Sheila is reaching out to the Williamson County community once again.

“People want to feel like they make a difference,” said Sheila. “We all want to feel needed. And donating blood is a very small way to make a very huge difference.”

During her recovery, Sheila needed more than two dozen units of blood.

“I never thought about the importance of donating blood, but when you survive such a traumatic, life changing experience it makes the need real…very real.“

On Oct. 12, The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive in honor of Sheila’s battle and we encourage all eligible donors to roll up their sleeve to help. 

“Giving blood is giving life. One little moment of inconvenience is nothing compared to giving someone life,” said Sheila.

To be a part of the blood drive in honor of Sheila Fitzgerald, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit and enter the sponsor code: Sheila


Most healthy individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental consent) and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds are eligible to donate blood. Individuals 18 years of age or younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements. Visit for more information.

The Tennessee Valley Blood Region serves 57 hospitals and must have approximately 600 people donate blood or platelets each weekday to meet the needs of hospital patients. 





Posted on: 9/27/2012


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