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MINNEAPOLIS - Four years ago, Kate Ross' life changed in an instant.

"I was working full time and going to school full time as well and just not sleeping and everything. I did finals that day at school and then on my way home that night ended up falling asleep and hit a guardrail," Ross said.

The 24-year-old Minneapolis woman said 50 feet of guardrail at 35W and 694 went through her car, and through her right leg.

She said she was conscious for part of it.

"I knew the severity that something was drastically wrong with my leg although I really look at it as being lucky that I didn't realize there was a guardrail basically through my body at that point in time."

Doctors put her in a medically induced coma and to save her life and ultimately amputated Ross' leg. Through 19 surgeries, she's needed more than 25 pints of life-saving blood products so she's very thankful for blood donors.

Ross explained why blood donations are so important saying, "I wouldn't be here to tell my story if I didn't have that. And it's not just me. It's other people's lives that have been saved from that."

After a year and half of occupational and physical therapy, life is now back to her new normal and Ross now helps other amputees.

But it was a friend who asked her to participate in a blood drive that made her realize that despite her big fear of needles, she should now give blood, too.

"And she was like, 'Well you remember four years ago? You needed that to save your life.' And it was just a like big needed slap in the face of I wouldn't be living and I wouldn't be here right now to tell my story if there wasn't people that gave blood," Ross said.

Kate Ross did give blood so now the blood recipient is also a very thankful blood donor.

"I love giving back. I hope that everybody and anybody that's eligible to be able to give blood will do so."

Does Ross's story inspire you to give?

You can donate blood at the KARE 11 Studios on Friday, Jan. 3. KARE is holding a blood drive with the Red Cross. Click here for more info.

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