Kennewick mother encourages others to donate blood

<p>Carter &amp; Tracy Pennington</p>

Carter &amp; Tracy Pennington

A Kennewick mother is encouraging others to donate blood this holiday season after her son had open heart surgery earlier this year.

Tracy Pennington's seven year-old son Carter, was born with aortic valve stenosis - a heart condition where the aortic valve does not fully open.

In September, Carter underwent open heart surgery to repair the valve.

He didn't need a blood transfusion, but his mother says having  blood available in case of an emergency gave her peace of mind.

"Without it, there could have been many more complications that he would have faced, and again, given the time frame that we had, there wasn't time for our family to donate blood for him. You've gotta make sure that it's the proper blood type and all of that so it's definitely comforting when there's so many other things to worry about. It's nice not to have to worry about that" said Pennington.

The 12 Days of Giving blood drive continues in the Tri-Cities tomorrow for a sixth day.