To Give Or Not To Give...

 

Like every other day I woke up, picked up my phone and browsed for missed calls, urgent messages and so on. I remember I saw a request for blood on a WhatsApp platform a day before but some how, I convinced myself that someone else will see it and donate “abeg” (as it is natural for most people to believe that someone else will do it). While scanning through my phone I found on Angela's WhatsApp status, a message she put up literally begging for donors. She seemed really desperate and it caught my attention. 

Note that while I have always thought about the idea of donating blood, I have actually never taken any step towards donating partly because a part of me would easily dismiss the idea, believing that other people will do the donating. I agree that this isn’t a responsible way to think but that was my reality and probably yours too. The other part is that I don’t find needles attractive. Now back to the subject matter. 

I had a conversation with my wife on how I had always thought it was a good thing to donate but just never did and she encouraged me. So I picked up my phone, chatted up Angela still with doubts in my heart. At some point, I realised how much of a difference Angela is trying to make and compared it with my fears. On the same scale, all my fears, worries and non-chalance towards blood donation weighed nothing compared to the life this would save and probably a complete overhaul of my perspective towards this. I decided to donate my blood. I got the details from Angela via WhatsApp and left for the hospital. 

First step was to take a sample of my blood and analyse, that was the easy part. Then we (another donor and myself) began to wait for results. Finally, the lab scientists (I believe that’s what they are called) came to us and announced that the other donor, the lady, had been disqualified due to her blood level. She was disappointed because she really wanted to give. For me, he said I still needed to wait, and the long waiting continued. “I hope nothing is wrong with my blood” I said to myself. Then I remembered stories I heard of people who whilst trying to donate blood, were told they had the HIV infection. I quickly dismissed the thoughts. 

Eventually he came out and announced that they were ready for me to donate. Now I had mixed feelings; thank God my blood is good but wouldn’t it have been easier to disqualify me so that I can go home knowing I tried at least? Lol, the things that fear can do to a man! I had something to eat and then went in to donate. Now trust me when I say that this was the most difficult part of the process. As if someone had announced to my veins that they will be giving their most treasured fluid away, they all disappeared. First attempt, no blood was found. Second attempt no blood and finally, on the third attempt the lab technician hit the jackpot, they found a tiny vein. Did I also mention that this is probably the biggest needle ever to have pierced my skin and the sight of it didn’t help at all. 

So, did I have fears? YES!. Was I glad I donated? certainly YES. Will I go through this process again? Absolutely! Through this, I learnt a vital lesson, “THEY" is no one, it’s a word we find ourselves comfortable with when we want to be irresponsive to situations. If everyone sits at home saying “THEY will donate" no one will and trust me, there are a lot of people out there in need of blood, actually much more than the number of people willing to donate their blood. And you know what I also found? An average adult has at least 5Litres of blood in them, about 11 US pt. God put extra in us so we can give it at the time of need because by giving blood, you may just have given life to someone in need of it. That’s who a saviour is!

Please comment on similar times you were indecisive about giving. What made you give still?

Funsho Oladele is a graduate of Chemical Engineering, with passion for resource and material transformation from a raw state to finished product. A citizen of Nigeria with keen interest in nation building and development, a relentless truth seeker and lover of music. Perfect lab rat for food recipes, worst choice for a cook. A believer and follower in the one and only true God. He believes in being a solution and where he can't, he supports those who do.

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