HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- A man says he was able to survive a violent crash thanks to blood donations. He was in Hartford on Wednesday to spread the word that the hour procedure could save the life of another.
Brian Boyle has the look of a super-hero. He has an athletic build, hair that looks like the Norse-god "Thor," and a strong, determined, voice. But considering what this man has been through, there should be no question about his strength.
"I remember sitting there in my wheelchair one day, I can actually leave here on day and make a full recovery," the Maryland-native said Wednesday morning.
In 2004, Boyle was in a car crash so violent, his heart moved in his chest. He received 36 blood transfusions and 13 plasma treatments during a series of invasive operations. After losing 100 pounds, Boyle worked his way back into shape, and became a spokesperson for the American Red Cross.
"What can I do to give back, what can I do to help others," Boyle said he asked himself as he was recovering.
He takes his message nationwide about being a hero by donating blood. His latest stop was at Hartford High School, where is appearance made an impact on both faculty and students.
"I don't think many people think about it, especially young people, until you get into it and see what's going on," says Hartford High School senior Arielys Martinez.
Her principal, David Chambers, says blood drives like the one taking place at his school are especially important for minorities, where turnout is usually low.
"The blood is indeed rare, it's hard to find, because many people are not donating. What we have here is a Mecca for black and Hispanic donors, and it's really making a difference."
You don't need a cape to be a hero, just a story of overcoming the odds with a little help from the nameless heroes who make blood donation a habit.
"Taking one hour of your time can save people, it saved me," said Boyle, who also gave blood at the event.
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