I gave blood. A whole pint of the red stuff was drained and bagged to be whizzed off to Bristol for processing. To think of the number of folks that could be helped by the donations made during a session in just one part of Oxford on this one night was quite moving. I puzzled, too, as to why more people don’t pop along for a lie down, some spring cleaning of the circulation system and the drink and biscuits at the end of it.
Looking on the website of The National Blood Service later on, I was surprised to find that in 2006 while 2.1 million donations were collected, this only equated to about 5% of the population proffering their veins twice or thrice per annum. Considering that any healthy bod upwards of 17 and not yet 60 years of age is eligible to donate, it would be good to see more folk signing up. Plenty of people shrug their shoulders and say ‘What can I do?’ when it comes to wider issues relating to poverty in the 3rd world, rainforests being chopped down, or the classic with global warming, for example. But this is one area where most of us can actually make a useful contribution to efforts of controlling and curing certain diseases, increasing survival after transplants and giving folk a chance at life.
And what’s more, you just never know when you might be the one in need and hoping that the banks have enough of your blood group in stock to help you.
Organ donation, too – how many folks carry donor cards, I wonder? Dad always joked that, ‘they would never have any of me,’ due to the degeneration caused by the arthritis and the medication he was on. But from the other side of it, one of the last operations he had was to graft some donated bone tissue into his ankle to try and repair some of the destruction. Like he often said-the mind was willing, even if the body wasn’t.
So go on – do something amazing today: give blood.