Blood Donation has Multiple Positives – Says Donors and Recipients
During the World Blood Donor Day (WBDD), award ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Public Health under the theme, “What can you do? Give Blood. Give now. Give often,” some of the donors and recipients highlighted their experiences both as donors and recipients to the Department of Public Information/Government Information Agency (DPI/GINA).
LeeVan De Santos, a recipient, said that he realises the importance of blood donors when he was patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) six weeks ago from a massive bleeding in his stomach. He explained that his hemoglobin count had dropped and continued to drop while he was still bleeding.
“My wife received a call from the hospital (GPHC) explaining that they were trying to administer blood to me but it was like pouring water into a barrel filled with holes. The doctor was giving my wife the option to basically to let me bleed out or can attempt an emergency surgery which carries with it a mortality rate of about 80 per cent”, De Santos explained.
He said that through God’s grace he was able to survive however, he is stressed that his sickness put a strain on his family, church members and work colleagues.
“Donating blood may seem simple for some but the impact is so much greater because you not only save one life but the lives connected to that person, so I want to thank all those who donate blood”, De Santos urged.
Sabrina Kazim, a recipient, said that being diagnosed as a person with Sickle Cell, blood transfusion is regular feature in her life f and she
thanked blood donors for being life savers. Sickle-Cell Disease (SCD) is a group of blood disorders inherited from parents which results in an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying protein (haemoglobin) found in the red blood cells.
Joshua Griffith, a blood donor, said that his faith inspired him to donate blood, quoting Leviticus 17:10 “There is life in the blood”. He noted that he was also motivated to commit to donating blood when he saw the name on the Wall of Fame, especially Ron Robinson who at that time donated 100 units of blood, this pushed him to join the 25/25 club, a programme created by the Guyana Red Cross Society.
“I do not remember when I decided to start donating blood but I do know that I have been able to donate over 30 units of blood, I don’t know how many (units) except when I was trying to accomplish the 25/25 goal. Sometimes I would come across some lovely or not so lovely stories while donating blood, in most cases it surrounds persons in dire need of blood whether it is for emergency or surgical purpose”, Griffith explained.
He noted that being able to donate blood without being recognised, is something that he is very passionate about, so began to host a blood drive, which was inspired by an old schoolmate four years ago for his birthday.
Christopher France, another donor, explained that he started to donate blood at the age of 17 just for the sake of donating and became instantly hooked from his first time. He said that he set a goal to donate 30 units of blood by the age of 30 however he was able to achieve his goal at the age of 21.
France highlighted that although he was able to accomplish his goal, it has been hard to donate blood currently, since as a medical student, he is required to take vaccines which prevents him from donating. “I am trying my best back then and now even though I do not donate as much as I use to, I do try my best to encourage others but donating blood does not only mean that you just donate but you need to encourage others to do the same”, France added.
The award ceremony was held in observance of WBDD on Tuesday June 14 at the GPHC.
The importance of voluntary blood donation and its importance has been emphasised on numerous occasions locally, nationally and internationally and while the Pan America Health Organization/ World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) hopes that persons will donate blood voluntarily by 2020 it continues to be challenging.
In 2014 PAHO/WHO recorded that there are 73 countries which depend on family and paid donors for blood. However, the Ministry of Public Health will continue to work diligently to enhance and improve the quality of service offered at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) and encouraging voluntary blood donations. (GINA DPI)