A good friend of mine is a heart surgeon. Occasionally, when we meet for a drink, we might run through the formality of how our ‘work’ is going. As I work in marketing, I’m fully, desperately aware that what I do can seem trivial, almost insulting when compared with his job and skills. When I try to offer the subject back to him, what has he been up to, he usually replies “oh, you know, the usual, saving lives etc…”
And he’s only partly joking.
Yesterday I might actually have helped save a life. For the first time in nearly six years, I gave blood. Call it a New Year’s Resolution perhaps, but it was a bit of an impulse decision, as we had a mobile blood donation unit close to our offices for a couple of days. While I was there, the staff were great; professional, friendly and calm. One person there at the same time felt faint after donating and they were terrific at putting him at ease, letting him take time to recover, drink and eat as many biscuits as he desired!
The staff were also all very concerned at the possible cutting of this mobile service. They were genuinely worried that their roles were under threat. I Reckon this would be a tragic mistake. While I was in the unit in Bristol on Thursday, five people approached the staff asking if they could donate. All of them claimed they were first-time donors, none of them might have come forward had the van not been present near their places of work, a stone’s throw from Bristol Temple Meads station. Take away the mobile vans and access to blood donation facilities becomes much harder.
Blood donations are vital – take a few minutes to read through the website. If you’re not moved by these stories, I can’t help you.
It shocked me to read that blood stocks in UK hospitals run to only a few days, and have been hit especially hard this winter by the more widespread incidence of illnesses like the norovirus. Constant renewal of stocks is vital, and right now this is more important than ever.
Apparently 96% of us rely on blood donated by 4%. Why don’t you do something worthwhile for a New Year Resolution and save a life?