MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Blood drives are being held in honor of a beloved principal who is on a long road to recovery after being struck by a car.
As Javier Perez’s family struggles with the long road to recovery at the hospital, many people have wanted to help in some way and donating blood to help others is what Perez’s wife asked for.
Donors at Thursday’s drive more than tripled the amount of blood normally given at one of events normally.
“His family has asked to come out and help out with that. Everyone’s had so many well-wishes and prayers and they want to connect some way with him,” said Monica Moreno.
First ones through the blood mobile’s doors were Perez’s loved ones seen in pictures given exclusively to CBS4.
Others who stopped by knew the beloved South Dade principal well or know of him and felt compelled to donate.
“Very, very easy decision. I worked at South Dade with Mr. Perez. I’m a retiree and we worked on many committees together. This was a no brainer for me,” said Yvette McKinny who donated blood.
“There are so many people who are coming out today showing support for Javi and everything that’s happened. So today is definitely a special day,” said Justine Marty who also donated blood.
Meantime, the 43-year old principal remains in intensive care. Doctors were forced to partially amputate both his legs last week.
Police say 51-year old Marilyn Aguilera was driving an SUV when she barreled through a fence at a Tamiami ball park, hitting two other people before pinning down Perez as he helped coach his son’s little league team.
A report shows police suspect Aguilera was intoxicated and speeding.
As Perez’s medical bills soar, a GoFundMe page has already reached nearly $120,000 and all proceeds from shirts friends are selling that read “Javi Strong” will also help .
Three more blood drives in honor of Perez are set.
On Friday, May 5th, the blood drive will take place at Kendall Regional Medical Center from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and at South Dade Senior High from 12 p.ml. to 5:30 p.m. and at Ronald Reagan Senior High from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
On Saturday, a second blood drive will be held at Kendall Regional Medical Center from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.