Blood Drive to Honor Windsor Father with Rare Medical Condition Brought on by COVID-19

Nate Washam poses for a family portrait with his wife, Sarah, and children, Jayden and Austin. A longtime family friend has organized a community blood drive in Nate's honor. He is critically ill and has been hospitalized since January. Photo courtesy of Sarah Washam.

42-year-old Windsor father and businessman Nate Washam and his family and friends are asking members of the community to donate blood at the Nate Washam Community Blood Drive on Friday, April 2, from 9:30 am to 5 pm at the UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Center located at 1035 Pennock Place, Suite 104 in his honor to help him as well as others hospitalized.

Nate is currently and has been battling a rare medical condition triggered by COVID-19 at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland over the course of the past few weeks. He first discovered that he had COVID-19 in early January this year.

Nate’s oxygen levels were so low just two weeks after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 that he had to be rushed by ambulance to UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, where he has been cared for by the critical care team for over six weeks battling hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, also known as HLH which is a rare condition that affects the immune system.

Nate’s wife, Sarah Washam, stated that Nate has needed nearly a dozen blood transfusions during his hospitalization thus far. That blood has come from people who took the time to donate through UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Centers.

A longtime friend of the Washams, Kristen Powell, was inspired by these donors and organized a blood drive in honor of Nate to raise awareness of the vital role that blood donations play as well as to encourage donors of all types to schedule an appointment to donate blood to aid Nate and other patients in need.

“Giving blood is a productive thing that someone can do to help not just Nate but everyone else in the hospital,” said Sarah.

No walk-ins can be accommodated due to COVID-19, requiring potential donors to sign up for appointments in advance. Those who would like to donate blood in honor of Nate can schedule a donation in the next three weeks if the slots fill up.

Donations of all blood types are needed and important, but the center especially needs donors with A and O blood types and donations of platelets of all types. A person looking to donate must be at least 18 years of age or 17 with a parent’s permission and show photo identification.

New donors must weigh at least 120 pounds and be in good health, with prior donors having to weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors also should eat a good meal before their appointment and drink plenty of water the day before and the day of the drive.

The blood centers are always in high need of new platelet donors, which help patients with chronic diseases like cancer, patients with blood disorders and transplants, and those who undergo major surgeries or sustain major injuries. Platelet donations take anywhere from 90-120 minutes.

Those who have recently received a COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to donate 15 days after their vaccine was administered.

All blood donated through UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Donation Centers stays local. It helps patients at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Greeley Emergency and Surgery Center, Longs Peak Hospital in Longmont, and Estes Park Health.


For more information regarding The Nate Washam Community Blood Drive, including where to sign up for appointments in advance, visit: bit.ly/NateWashamBloodDrive or call 970-680-8053 to schedule a donation in the next three weeks if the slots fill up.

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