Mother of a child whose life depends on Voluntary Blood Donation
It is a medical fact that blood is life. However, for many of us, our relationship with blood brings us to our knees in prayer, in faith that this source of life is available at a moment’s notice.
My love/hate relationship with blood began when my daughter was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) when she was just a baby. At that moment, the secret hidden in her parent’s blood became the narrative of her life; a blood disorder she inherited us.
Fast forward to when she was just 4 years old, and a simple tooth infection necessitated an emergency exchange blood transfusion. The irony of life is that the very thing that is wrong in her body is what she needed to save her. There began my six-year journey of monthly blood transfusions that see-sawed between top-up transfusions and exchange transfusions.
Every month as the date for the scheduled transfusion drew closer, my anxiety about the availability of the blood, blood that would match her type, and the quality of the blood would endlessly torment me.
There were moments when we could not receive the amount she required, but enough to get her by. I never thought I could be so grateful for something from strangers, I never knew or met, that we easily take for granted.
Never take this gift for granted
The need for blood bonded the parents and the children who required this source of life, as monthly and fortnightly transfusion meets, meant that you knew who needed blood for Thalassemia or Sickle Cell Disease. For us, blood is the most precious commodity on earth, something that we can never take for granted.
My daughter is now 12 years old; she has had over 72 transfusions in her life. She has endured as many needle punctures as possible to receive blood, a process that would make many adults, including myself, lightheaded from the sight of it. But, if not for the blood donations of persons who continually give their blood so willingly and a system that ensures stringent testing to ensure that the blood, she receives is healthy and enough for her, honestly, I don’t know where we both would be. As a parent of a child whose life depends on blood receiving blood donated by strangers, they have become part our family, I am eternally grateful.
Why become a voluntary donor?
Donating blood has significant health benefits for the donor, more so it does so much more for those who depend on these donations to live. Let us not wait for only when a family member or friend in need of blood to realise the importance of becoming a donor. This is the most selfless and patriotic act someone can do. Giving blood is not just for the ones you know; your blood can save the lives of a nation, and it is the greatest legacy you can leave.
I Encourage everyone today - Become a true voluntary donor!