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February 20, 2019

Should I donate blood or just forward this text?

WELL-WISHERS: Members of the public donate blood.Photo/File
WELL-WISHERS: Members of the public donate blood.Photo/File

 Whenever we hear of a blood appeal on the radio or someone texts us a message requesting for a certain blood group for a known person, each one of us reacts with curiosity.

We are curious to know who it is, or why they need blood. Sometimes we forward the message if we know who it is, or we ignore the message. Who has time to waste phone credit on sending a message that hundreds probably have already resent?

 I guess there could be an element of truth in that but when I personally receive a blood donation request, I will forward it to people I know who can help. If it is my blood group (I have a rare blood group), I will go and donate. I can only donate thrice a year and I do it whenever possible.

I think I was 16 the first time I ever donated blood to someone. I was asked by my parents if I would be willing to help and I readily agreed.

I remember going to the hospital and meeting other friends and relatives who were there to donate as well. Once my blood had been collected, I remember being given a cold Fanta and I was seriously delighted with this. Back then it didn’t take much to please me eh? I also remember one of the donors getting up too quickly and he fainted. That was quite dramatic.

 Anyway, a fortnight ago I had a major surgery and needed blood. Like I mentioned, I have a rare blood group so it kind of gets hard to source it right away from blood banks.

I understand that blood appeals were made on air on East FM by my colleagues, and this time around, that text message that was circulating was about me.

When I found this out it really unnerved me. I was also told by the nurses at the hospital that they had a very large number of people who came to donate blood for me. I wept uncontrollably. I had no idea who had come, whose blood I have pumping through my veins, but I do know that I am really overwhelmed that so many kind people came forward.

 I’m scrapping my initial train of thought that people just read the message and expect someone else will hear the blood appeal and go and donate.

After my experience, I’m compelled to change my thinking. Not everyone dismisses an appeal for assistance and there will always be someone who will come forward to help.

 I’m still recuperating at home but I am feeling much better now. I’ve been told the healing process will take six to eight weeks so I’m just trying to occupy my time as best as I can.

Thank you for donating blood – not just for me but for anyone you’ve ever helped. It takes a lot to be able to give someone such a precious gift.


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