25 years later, dad matches 66 pints of blood given to save son

By Ashley Jeffery, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, June 13, 2015, 8:17 PM EDT

The One Blood Donor Center may be the least likely place for a family celebration, unless you're Brad and Richard Kolhoff.

"When we were first told his chances of survival were not all great, we just went through the process. I really didn't have a lot of time to sit and think and worry," said Richard Kolhoff, who donated blood in honor of his son.

Brad was only 7 years old when he was infected with E. coli bacteria, which caused his kidneys to shut down. He needed more than 5 dozen blood transfusions to stay alive — and he got them, thanks to donors.

"My son, when he was in the first grade, took 66 units of blood products, and I considered it my personal debt to repay," said Richard.

Richard has been donating pint by pint for the last 24 years to give back the 66 pints that saved his son.

"There were times the blood mobile would come to where I worked, and I was out that day, or I had a cold and couldn't donate," said Richard. "It certainly took a lot longer than usual, but here I am, 25 years later, and I've fulfilled the goal."

And his son is so proud.

"I know it's something he's been talking about for a long time; it was cool to see him make that happen," said Brad Kolhoff.

But Richard says even though he reached his goal, he won't be slowing down. He wants to continue to help others in the same they helped his son.

"I need to give to help other people like other people helped brad," said Richard.