Pee Dee motorcyclist sideswiped by vehicle shares story to inspire others to give blood

Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 4:37 PM EDT
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DILLON COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - A motorcyclist who was hit by a car last year said blood donations likely helped to save his life.

Tanner Williams, 22, a native of Dillon, said he doesn’t remember everything from that night, but he’s sharing his story in the hopes it will motivate more people to step up and give blood.

“If it wasn’t for people donating blood, I might not be here,” Williams said.

RELATED COVERAGE | WMBF News partners with American Red Cross to host blood drive on Thursday

Williams was riding his motorcycle in July 2021 near the intersection of Oakland Road and Wesley Drive in Dillon County.

He was a half-mile from his house when he was sideswiped by another vehicle.

“It slung me off the motorcycle into a ditch,” Williams said.

The life-changing event left Williams severely injured. It resulted in part of his leg from the knee down being amputated.

“I broke pretty much every bone in my left arm and hand, my left femur, my tibia and fibula. There was just no saving my leg from there. It was too broken to the point they couldn’t fix it.”

Williams also suffered lots of blood loss.

“I had internal bleeding from my spleen. I had a dozen units of blood transfused into me,” he said. “Lacerated spleen, and I’ve had eight operations so far.”

Workers with The Eastern South Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross said Williams’ story serves as a testimony that every unit of blood donated counts. Because those donations are keeping people in an emergency event like Williams alive.

“We always encourage people to please donate, please make sure there’s a safe supply on the shelves,” said Meggin Heath, account manager for the American Red Cross. “So doctors don’t have to make that decision of is this gentleman with the heart surgery that’s scheduled going to get this unit of blood or is this guy with the horrific accident going to get this unit of blood. Those are the decisions they are forced to make.”

Williams said he’s also a blood donor and he’s encouraging you to give blood as well.

“It helped me out a lot. I’ve always been one to help my community any way I can. Sometimes things like in my story, they may need it and if they don’t have access to it they might not make it to see another day so I’m just doing my part to help out. It’s very much worth it,” Williams said.

Williams said he’s grateful to everyone in the community who’s shown their support to him and his family throughout these times.

“It shocked me honestly. I’ve always been one to help other people. I’m a rescue member, firefighter, I use to work EMS and lifeguard, but when this happened to me and [I saw] how other people could help me, I was shocked, mind blown,” Williams said.

Williams said he’s waiting on insurance so he can get his prosthetic and start firefighting again.

“Maybe get another motorcycle, I don’t know yet,” Williams said.

WMBF News has partnered with the American Cross for the ‘Sleeves Up’ blood drive. It’s happening from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday at both Coastal Grand Mall and Magnolia Mall in Florence.

Appointments are encouraged. You can schedule using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, by visiting the Red Cross’s website or calling 1-800-733-2767. Use the sponsor code “WMBF” to make an appointment.

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