Nashville Couple Turned Away From Blood Donations In Vegas

Posted at 6:17 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 19:48:58-04

A Nashville couple who survived Sunday's massacre on the Las Vegas strip say they were turned down at the local Red Cross to donate blood.

When Ginger Raines and her husband arrived at the blood donation site Monday, they were turned away because there were already enough people donating blood.

The couple were in Vegas for Raines' birthday. She and her husband were in Planet Hollywood at a table gambling when a man ran into the hotel and casino.

"There was blood on his right shoulder and he looked panicked, scared and he yelled out 'There's an active shooter. Get down. Get down!'" said Raines.

After that, Raines said a crowd of people rushed into the building and everyone tried to find cover.

"We thought that they were getting chased by an active shooter," she said. "We didn't know anything that was going on at that time. We had no stories. We could hear gunshots and smell smoke. So, we thought he was inside."

The couple ran to a stairwell, then a small hallway and then a much larger hall where hundreds of people were hiding.

"There were little kids. There were every ethnicity from everywhere you can imagine. All just like us, just terrified," she said.

The hotel remained on lockdown until 3:00a.m. The guests were released and Raines went back to her hotel room with her husband and a woman who was not allowed leave the hotel.

The next morning when they emerged, the strip was unusually empty and the video signs had a different message up than normal.

"There was information, our hearts are with the victims, blood donations are being taken," said Raines.

She and her husband jumped into a cab, who drove the couple for free to a Red Cross blood donation site. 

"When we pulled up there, there was a line of people. You cannot imagine how many people there were, thousands of people to give blood," She said. "There was music and there was people giving out water and food. It was a really beautiful atmosphere actually."

The couple were tured away, but told to come back another day to give blood.

Raines said she's coming back to Nashville on Wednesday, but she will never forget the horror of Sunday.

"I am sad. It changed me, it did to the core. I will never be the same again," said Raines.