The Blood Matters Blog ·

A Mother's Miraculous Journey: Sunni Riley's Story of Survival and Giving Back

Sunni Riley, a mother of three, faced a life-threatening hemorrhage during the birth of her twin daughters, Reese and Wren, necessitating a C-section and a significant blood transfusion.

“Things could have turned out a lot different. And Nathan could have been taking two girls home, you know, without me," Sunni explained.

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Mother of three, Sunni Riley, knows she has much to be thankful for.

“Things could have turned out a lot different. And Nathan could have been taking two girls home, you know, without me.”

In May of 2021, Sunni was excited to grow her family and was preparing for the birth of her twin daughters Reese and Wren. That’s when a picture-perfect day turned into a nightmare.

Wren was born first, and everything was going well, but Reese had flipped, causing Sunni’s team of doctors to switch gears and perform a C-section.

“In that process, they could not stop my bleeding,” Sunni added.

Sunni was experiencing a severe hemorrhage and her uterus wouldn’t close, causing her to lose blood. Her doctors said the next move is a hysterectomy.

“I lost a lot of blood and woke up on a ventilator in ICU,” she said.

“I was pretty scared. Kinda like trying to figure out if you even know how to parent, let alone parent alone if that were to happen,” Sunni’s husband, Nathan said.

She woke up to find Nathan right by her side. Sunni was unaware of the severity of what had just happened to her.

“When I learned how much blood I had lost, I could feel how exhausted I was,” she said. “I was on pretty much a constant transfusion of some sort of blood product for about two solid days. And so, it took 17 units to make me stable enough to bring these girls home.”

And home is where Sunni wanted to be, ready to bring home Wren and Reese to their big brother Cooper.

“It just really makes you grateful that those units were available. And he opened the door and saw his sisters and it was a pretty awesome homecoming,” Sunni said. “To bring two girls into the mix was it shook things up a bit. But they are so different and they are so fun and every day is a blessing.

Over the last few years, the Rileys have never taken a moment for granted. Bonding over their love of the lake and the outdoors while building lasting memories.

“We love to surf and boat and ski and camp. We spend pretty much all summer doing those activities, and the girls just fit right in with us,” Sunni said. “We spend all the minutes we can outside. We even took them skiing this year for the first time, which was a lot of fun… And we just, just have enjoyed every minute of watching them grow.”

But not forgetting the blood donors who have made each moment possible. Sunni and Nathan are giving back by being regular donors and hosting blood drives at Nathan’s work.

“We do two blood drives a year. So, they come out and park at the shop and try to try to get as many units as we can,” Nathan explained.

Sunni has a goal of her own, hoping to donate back the 17 units of blood she used during her time of need.

“I can't wait till I get to that unit. And not that I would stop at 17, but I think that'll be a day I celebrate when I've given back 17 units, and then continue to do the same,” Sunni said.

This life is brought to you by blood donors.

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