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1000 gifts of life: My first blood donation

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Pints of bloodOn February 23, 2013, I made my first blood donation.

My first attempt was during my days at Adisadel College as a student in 2005. School authorities informed us that there will be a blood donation exercise put together by health officials from the Blood Bank. Well on the “D-Day”, I run away because I was afraid of the pain of the needle which will be used to ‘suck’ my blood.

Also it was around difficult times [Halla Season] I went through in “Adisco”, so did not have the mindset to donate.

Eight years down the line, I left home around 1.30pm to join the Rotaract Club of Adentan at the Ghana Hostels Limited (Pentagon) during their blood donation exercise christened “1000 Gifts of Life Blood Donation”. They held it in collaboration with the Korle-bu Blood Bank.

When I got to the donation spot, my fellow Rotaractors who saw me said “You must give us two pints of blood”. I laughed. I didn’t go there to donate because of my long standing fear of the pain of the needle.

But two hours later, my mind started to change after asking about not less than five persons who have already donated how it feels like. “It’s normal…you don’t feel any pain,” one donor told me.

After, I was settled to donate blood not because “I just want to donate” but felt someone needs my blood to survive. The Blood Bank has in recent times, reportedly been experiencing shortages of blood, which has somehow led to loss of lives.

So I went to the first table where my details were taken. I was nervous until I was asked to answer a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ question. I remember the interesting one was “Have I ever had sex with a prostitute before?” and my answer was – a big NO.

I checked my weight before moving to the next table. My blood was tested and it was okay for donation. My blood pressure level was checked.

I then took my vial to a bed and lied down to start my donation. The Blood Bank official then pierced the veins of my right hand. It was a reflex pain.

In less than eight minutes, the pint was full with my blood and I said “the myth is broken”. I then took my ‘Milo’ drink and felt like I had never given out my blood.

I encourage you to donate blood when you get the opportunity, and remember that saving a life is vital.

By Ekow Quandzie

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