CREATED Mar. 19, 2013
Underwood, IOWA -- It has been nearly eight months since a car accident left Alex Peterson, 18, fighting for her life.
She has since made a full recovery, and on Tuesday, her family thanked the community for their support.
"If it wasn't for these people, I wouldn't be here right now," said Alex.
Around 7:30 a.m. on July 23, 2012, Alex was in a car crash in Council Bluffs.
Five people were hurt, and Alex was airlifted to Alegent Creighton University Medical Center in critical condition.
"The blood supply, of course, had to be there to help her," said Martha Peterson, Alex's mom. "They had to do emergency surgery. She was bleeding internally. It had to be there."
Since Alex has recovered, she is giving back.
On Tuesday, the Petersons held a blood drive at Underwood High School, where Alex graduated from just before the accident.
"After seeing what she had to go through, I figured giving blood, and saving a life, was the least I could do for everybody else out there," said Jordan Lammert, Alex's boyfriend and blood donor.
Alex is currently a freshman at Iowa State University. She is studying agriculture business and celebrating a future that was once uncertain.
"(Donating blood) is just so important," said Alex. "You really don't know how important it is until you're put in that situation. It's vital for someone's life."
Alex's mom hopes her daughter's story inspires people to donate, not just blood, but life.
"You step back and appreciate things more," said Martha. "(You) reprioritize what is important in your life and slow down a little bit. There have been a lot of blessings out of all of this."
The blood collected by the American Red Cross on Tuesday will be used for trauma victims, organ transplant patients and those being treated for cancer and other diseases.