Heslam: ‘It breaks my heart’


Angelina Solomon, a Boston fashion designer, couldn’t stop crying as she watched the horror on the TV news.

Las Vegas, she told me, is like her second home.

“It breaks my heart,” said Solomon, 33. “I wish I was there to help. It’s like home. It’s just so sad. My heart goes out to all the people there, all the victims and especially their families. God bless them.”

She wanted to do something, and soon became one of the selfless Bay Staters who showed up yesterday at the Red Cross’ Boston blood donation center on Tremont Street to give their own blood, as Las Vegas officials struggling with at least 527 people wounded by a lone gunman pleaded for blood donations.

Solomon has traveled to Las Vegas with her husband about twice a year for the past six years — often staying at the Mandalay Bay hotel, where gunman Stephen Paddock unleashed his deadly rampage from the 32nd floor, firing at concertgoers below.

Tim Decker hates needles and had never donated blood before, but he walked over after work and told the receptionist he wanted to donate his blood “in light of what happened today.”

“I’ll put my fears aside, because people have a lot more fears than what I’m facing right now,” Decker told me.

“There’s over 500 people who are hurt,” Decker, 41, said, breaking down in tears. “I don’t know if my blood will specifically go there, but if I can replenish one bag, whether it goes to Puerto Rico, one of the islands, Texas or the earthquakes, I know at least I gave something to people who need it.”

The Red Cross has shipped about 250 pints of additional blood to Las Vegas from Boston, said spokeswoman Kelly Isenor. “Please know your blood donation will become part of the nation’s blood supply and will help ensure that we are prepared for any blood needs that arise,” Isenor said.

Nancy Walters, who was recently married, was moved to tears by the husband who shielded his wife from the horrific gunfire. She too showed up on Tremont Street to give blood. “If there’s one thing we can do to help,” Walters said, “it’s give blood.”

Solomon said she had never given blood before. She drove from her home in the Seaport District to the blood donation center.

“We have to be the light in this world,” she said.

She was still coming to grips with the horror. She took her teenage niece and nephews to Las Vegas in December and her husband’s best friend returned from there Sunday night.

But, she noted, the Hub is all…



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