BRAWLEY — Daniel Ortiz Jr. has never met any of the victims in Tuesday's terrorist attacks, but he, like many others Wednesday, was doing what he could by donating blood.
Ortiz, 23, of El Centro, and his two friends came to Pioneers Memorial Hospital here to donate blood in part because of Tuesday's terrorist attacks but also because of the continual need for blood in this country.
"We already knew there is a really big shortage, especially now with the devastation in New York," Ortiz said.
While the Imperial Valley Blood Services drive was scheduled before the hijacked jets crashed into buildings in New York and Washington D.C., those incidents led many more people than expected to show up, resulting in long lines to donate.
"It's been a madhouse," said Joyce Sutton, a member of the PMH women's auxiliary helping with the drive.
Imperial Valley Blood Service Coordinator Trish Burich-McNeece estimated that in the first three and a half hours of Wednesday's drive over 50 donors had given blood. That's about one-third the total number of donors over a regular two-and-a-half-day drive.