Friday, February 01, 2008

BLOOD! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

So, true story.

My dad and my brother, Michael (not to be confused with my husband, Mike), do not always get along well. It may have something to do with the fact that Dad is still waiting for Michael to leave the nest, or the branch, or the tree… Actually, I think my brother has been living at home so long he could almost claim that Dad lives with him.

Some years ago Dad embarked upon a lengthy campaign to encourage Michael to donate blood. Dad had been a loyal blood donor since the invention of modern medicine, up until a recent change in medication made him no longer eligible. All his attempts at conversation or encouragement were met with non-committal mutterings. This went on for who knows how long, until one day Dad went into his local Red Cross blood bank to find his younger son sitting in the waiting room. It turns out Michael had been a regular blood donor for years!

This is my brother’s idea of rebellion.

This story did not just randomly cross my mind for no apparent reason (as most of my stories do). No, I’ve been thinking about it this week because of the blood drive a nearby Baptist church held on Wednesday.

Now, I’m not saying I’m a champion bleeder like Dad (he has made 99 donations in total - a regular Bradman, my dad), but I have given blood before on a semi-regular basis. This was, perhaps, the most poignant donation I have made, however.

You see, Sam received a blood transfusion as part of his medical treatment after his fatal accident.

It is unfortunate that this thought struck me as I sat waiting to give – I wouldn’t want people to think I’m a big wuss, brought to tears at the thought of the needle. Nope, I’m tough – and also it just doesn’t hurt that much.

To be honest, my first thought was that someone else had sat somewhere in a plastic chair and given one of the most personal gifts it is possible to give – and that it had been for nothing. It would have been really easy to get up and walk out at that point. I think everyone in the room would have understood too. However, the thought then occurred to me – ‘What could be worse than having a child receive critical care and still not survive? Well – a child needing critical care and not surviving because the blood wasn’t available.’

In the end my son was saved not by a stranger’s blood, but saved eternally by his Saviour’s blood.

You probably won’t ever get the chance to save the world, but you could save a life this week by giving up an hour of your time and a unit of your blood.

It’s not hard, it isn’t agonizing, it is not barbaric – it isn’t even rocket science.

Hey, if it helps, you can spend the hour practicing your mad Doctor Frankenstein laugh under your breath. Give it go. All together now –