My Blood Donation Experience: A Young Nigerian Shares

By David Ochoga

At about 10:14 pm on Friday the 4th of December 2020, I was notified by the J Blood Match Bot that my assistance was required by Mr. Paul at Garki Hospital Abuja, for voluntary blood donation. The reason? Sickle cell disorder. I accepted the request with excitement.

The next day at 11:02 am, I was at the hospital and Mr. Paul was waiting for me outside. He led me to the bleeding room where a sample of my blood was taken to be tested. I asked Mr. Paul if he was the one in need of my blood, but he told me that it was actually for his 11-year-old son who is a sickle cell warrior. He took me to the pediatric ward and I met David, his son who was recently diagnosed with gall stones that clogged his bladder, causing him serious pain, and was scheduled for surgery quickly.

With excitement, I went to the laboratory for my blood to be drawn, but I was told to eat something before going through the process. Mr. Paul took me to the hospital canteen and bought me food. We returned to the laboratory and a pint of my blood was drawn.

Mr. Paul and I went back to the ward to see his son who sat down watching cartoons. I was shocked to see a child looking so healthy to go through such enormous pain. I spoke a little with David and encouraged him not to worry.

I was ready to leave in a cab, but Mr. Paul insisted he would drop me at my house. He said it was the little he could do to thank me.

While in the car, I asked him how he heard of J Blood Match and he told me that he was invited by a friend to attend the grand launch at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, and he spoke about how promising the bot is.

After donating I feel so fulfilled. I encourage us all to donate blood if we can, because freely we were given the blood, freely we should give.

Admin’s note: David Ochoga participated in JDI’s Leadership Exchange Programme (LEP) in 2020 and that is how he came to know of the bot. This story captures to a large extent, how J Blood Match works from the time a request is made. Blood donors registered on J Blood Match are not paid for their service but they may be reimbursed for their transport fare if they so wish.