30 minutes is all it takes to save a life
Wouldn’t it be amazing to know you have saved someone’s life? Giving blood has been something I have wanted to do for some time. Finding out my blood type was rare whilst in hospital compelled me to do it even more. To think that my blood could potentially save someone’s life made me want to give it a go but being on prescription medicine and having just had open back surgery meant it wasn’t possible.
Fast forward 2 years.
A photo of my friend’s son popped up on my what’s app. A happy smiley face watching over his mum giving blood. It reminded me of just how much I wanted to partake in this potentially life-saving activity. Due to my body being unable to cope with the pain medication I was no longer on the cocktail of medicines that had once been prescribed to me. So I could give blood now, or so I thought…
Thank F@*! for technology!
I reached out to my friends to see if one of them would watch over me, just like my friend’s son had watched over his Mum and maybe even join in. That way I knew I wouldn’t ‘chicken out’ To my surprise, 8 of my friends replied – whoop whoop! A quick look on the Give Blood website revealed they were running a clinic in Coventry on my birthday – Perfect timing! It was like a military operation to book slots and share screenshots over what’s app to make sure we had all booked in around the same time. At one point the website crashed, I secretly hoped this was because of our flurry of activity! Thanks to modern technology we had planned a girlie meet up with a difference – giving a pint instead of drinking a pint!
the power of social media
Feeling slightly overwhelmed but extremely happy I posted what we were planning to do on Facebook. More people responded and more appointments were made. Friends from Coventry around the UK got in touch over the next couple of days with stories of their own experiences of giving blood or to say they had booked an appointment.
The following day a friend who had just had a baby asked when she would be able to give blood, as she was still breastfeeding. I searched the Give Blood website and found the info – 6 months after giving birth. Maybe I should check my conditions on the Health and Eligibility page to make sure. I typed in ‘Tarlov Cyst disease’, nothing, retyped ‘Symptomatic Tarlov cysts‘, nothing. I reminded myself it is rare so might not come up with anything. Then I typed in ‘Myalgic Encephalopathy’ or ‘ME’ for short.
My heart sank and tears welled up in my eyes. The realisation that my illness would once again get in the way of me doing something was too much for me to handle. Picking up my phone I called my sister and ranted to her about how shit I felt. She said calmly.
Look at the positives that have come out of this. You should feel proud they have all agreed to do this on your birthday – people have taken action. Action that could save lives!
give blood for me!
This really resonated. People are giving blood for me…giving blood for ME! I laughed at the play on words. How many people are in a similar situation to me, wanting to give blood but due to a medical condition, like ME, they are unable to. Perhaps you know someone like this? What if the people who could give blood did it for those who can’t?
The need for blood
*The NHS needs over 6,000 blood donations every day to treat patients in need across England. Which is why there’s always a need for people to give blood.
Each year they need approximately 200,000 new donors, as some donors can no longer give blood.
Most people between the ages of 17-65 are able to give blood.
Around half their current donors are over 45. That’s why they need more young people (over the age of 17) to start giving blood, so they can make sure we have enough blood in the future.
They need more donors from all blood groups and types. They particularly need more people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities to give blood so that they have a supply of certain blood types.
As part of the #ImThere campaign, they are aiming to find 40,000 black donors to provide much-needed blood donations for black patients with sickle cell disease. They need life-saving blood from black donors, which provides the closest match to their own.
*Taken from the NHS Give Blood website
make a date with a friend
The NHS needs 200,000 new donors a year, 6000 blood donations every day. Could you be one of them? Could you do it for a friend or family member who can’t? If you are someone who isn’t able to give blood, but really wants to – could you reach out to your friends and family and ask them to give blood for you? You could go with them for support, just like my friend’s son did, just like my friends are doing for me. Remember it only takes 30 minutes of your life to save a life!
A BIG THANK YOU to my friend and her son for starting this chain reaction! If we hadn’t seen his super smiley face in that photo we might never have organised to do this. Such a positive thing to do with your children.
Thank you to my lovely friends who booked to give blood on my birthday, even though I couldn’t go with them as I was on a residential pain rehabilitation course with RNOH Stanmore and for those who have booked a later date – You are ALL lifesavers!
Hoping this blog post will encourage you to start your own blood giving chain reaction…
Stories for wellbeing
This blog was written on the ‘Stories for Wellbeing’ training course I have recently been on. Jude Habib, an associate of Sound Delivery came to Coventry to spend a day working with us to help us to think about how we can promote stories for the ‘Year Of Wellbeing’ which will be happening in Coventry and Warwickshire next year. A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who was involved – super excited about Coventry & Warwickshire’s Year of Well-being 2019
Over to you
If you have enjoyed reading this post or felt inspired to take action yourself, please do let us know in the comment section below. Also, it would be amazing if you could share this post so we can hopefully inspire more people to give a pint with a friend.