I’d heard the messages on the radio and seen social media to ‘Give Blood’ but it didn’t really sink in until the start of the year. In a busy life it’s so easy to hear things but not absorb them, but my inertia turned into action after a hospital dash back in January, that opened my eyes to the need to donate blood.
I’d taken a family member to A&E and they had to give blood samples for testing. Being in a hospital environment and seeing all the medical staff dashing about to assist patients and the people in need of life saving treatment made me aware that I could do something to help and I wasn’t doing it. It had never occured to me – as crazy as that sounds!
Thankfully I’m not in hospitals that often. I don’t work in them and am in good health, so the plight of sick people is not something that is in front of me regularly. It was during my hospital run that I decided to give blood, when I got home I looked online, registered as a donor and made my appointment when the mobile clinic came to my town.
A doctor at hospital told me that giving blood is actually good for you! By taking a pint out your body needs to work to replace what has been taken and make fresh blood. It’s like having an ‘oil change!’ As long as you are healthy (and they make you take a questionnaire to check) it is safe for women to give blood every 16 weeks and men every 12.
After donating, I was given a drink and a biscuit and made my next appointment. I was also given permission to take it easy for the rest of the day (what better excuse!) You have to drink plenty of fluids and not do any heavy lifting but you are back to normal working order by the next day.
It felt really good to know that I’ve done something to help people. After my donation as I was driving to school to collect my son, an ad came on the radio to give blood. It told me that one donation can save three people’s lives and that made me really proud. I saved three people’s lives that day – I reckon that’s a day well lived.
If that wasn’t enough, I opened my emails the next day to read this message:
Thank you so much for becoming a blood donor. You’re now part of a very special group and you’ve already helped us to save and improve lives.
If we were able to take a donation we should be in touch soon to let you know your blood group. Whether you’re O- or AB+, the need for blood and its components never stops.
Managing your account online atcouldn’t be easier. You can use it to find donation sessions and book and amend your appointments, as well as to update your personal info and contact details.
Thank you again, we couldn’t do it without you.
I’ll never turn back now – I will always be a blood donor. It helps people, doesn’t take much time, I get to chill out afterwards and it makes me feel good. Why not register yourself and help save some lives?