A Mankato teen injured in a 2015 boating accident has organized a blood drive that takes place today Friday afternoon at the Mankato Department of Public Safety headquarters.

American Red Cross board member Jeff Bengtson.

American Red Cross board member Jeff Bengtson, the father of Marah Bengtson, said there is a critical need for blood products right now.

“The American Red Cross continues to have an emergency need for blood right now, and platelet donors. Blood donations of all types, really,” he said, and added, “Blood donation shortages in summer months are not uncommon.”

Marah was hit by a boat while wakeboarding on Lake Jefferson when she was 15 years old and Bengtson said, “She received 16 units of blood between immediately after her injury and also during surgery over the following days. The generosity of blood donors prior to that certainly saved my daughter’s life and so it’s certainly a personal mission for us to try to help repay that.

Bengtson, who is also deputy director with the Mankato Department of Public Safety and heads the fire department, said Marah’s injuries were severe. He explained, “Pretty much the left side of her body was lacerated by the propeller. Broken femur, broken radius and ulna. Just multiple traumas.”

While Bengtson said Marah is doing quite well, she will have impacts from her injuries for the rest of her life.

This is the third blood drive she has organized.