Being a nurse, one of my duties is to administer blood/blood products, and monitor patients requiring a blood transfusion. Therefore, it is normal in my line of work to see units of blood at the hospital being brought to patients’ rooms and to operating rooms. They are a dire necessity. They help save lives.
When I heard that there would be a blood donation drive sponsored by the Iglesia Ni Cristo again this year, in partnership with the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, I was eager to participate. I donated blood for the first time last year, representing the same organization, and despite the challenge I had with my small veins, I decided to give it another try.
The first time I donated blood, the nurses had a difficult time locating my veins; it took almost 15 minutes just to find a good vein. I felt anxious thinking about how difficult it was the first time I donated, but thankfully, it was much easier this time. I felt relieved.
Sitting there, I realized that I was not well hydrated, and it took quite a while for me to fill up the bag. The next time I donate, I will make sure to drink plenty of water the night before and on the day of the event, so that I can stay well-hydrated — this will make the whole process easier and quicker.
When I finally finished, the nurses offered me juice and cookies. Afterwards, they also gave me a sticker that says “Be nice to me! I donated blood today” and a cute Band-Aid that says “I gave life”.
In speaking with my fellow volunteers at the Canadian Blood Services Clinic in Surrey, it was interesting to find that some of them have given blood numerous times in the past. One gentleman I talked to has donated blood over 25 times! Another lady said it was her 12th time!
Can you imagine the number of people those volunteers and donors have helped over the years?
I felt happy that I was able to do my small part in helping my community. As I was sitting there, I wondered about the individuals whom my small contribution will be able to help.
What are their stories? Why did they need to have blood transfusions?
During my shift in the hospital that evening, the strangest thing happened: I had a patient who needed to have a blood transfusion, and while I was preparing to attend to him, I noticed that he happened to have the exact same blood type as me!
As I prepared the unit of blood, I smiled, and thought to myself — here is an individual in front of me who would benefit from the blood donated from donors like me.
This realization made a great impact on me. As I left the room, I proudly wore my sticker that says, “I donated blood today!” I felt even more inspired to continue to donate blood whenever I can. I hope anyone reading this would be inspired to do the same.
About the Writer:
Lou Aquino is an INC Giving volunteer from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She is an active participant in INC Giving Projects and the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation.
Lou is a Registered Nurse in a Telemetry Unit, and looks after patients with cardiac conditions. Lou takes pride in helping others and believes that as a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) it is our duty to be kind and help those who are in need.