A Special Experience

Have you ever been lucky enough to be part of a special experience?

Last night I attended a dinner in the Crown Plaza hotel, Santry, Dublin.  There was a buzz around the table with conversations to my right and left.  The volume rose as the tables filled up.  So, you are asking what’s so different?

Firstly, apart from my husband I knew no one at that table, however people introduced themselves and made everyone feel welcome.  Conversations with strangers flowed.

This was an extremely special night where blood and platelets donors who had donated over 50 units were honoured.  I was accompanying my husband who was one of those being honoured.

Just 1 teaspoon of blood for a premature baby! Yes, ONE TEASPOON.  It was amazing to think that a teaspoon could equal a miracle.  The shelf life of blood is 7 days or 5 days for neonatal.  Just look at some of your groceries and look at their shelf life very little has to be used within such a short time period.

To the world you are just one person but to one person you are the world” We have all heard that expression but blood donors and platelet donors epitomise this saying.  Very often a platelet donor would be matched with a specific recipient.

For many kids and perhaps adults the men and women of the fire service are special.  How many kids dress up as “Firemen”? Last night I listened to an awe-inspiring talk given by a member of Dublin Fire Service.  The talk opened with background information of how this officer started donating blood throughout his time with the service.  How he started donating blood platelets in James Street never realising that in a short time he would need the service.

This man’s young son was diagnosed with leukaemia and spent 3 years on Chemo but the first donation of blood platelets actually brought back the colour to his son’s face.  This man spoke eloquently, gently, with dignity as he allowed us a little insight into the journey of his son’s illness and the journey of the family.  We were a privileged audience and I thank this man his wife and his son for sharing such a personal and traumatic story but one with a happy ending. His son is now a TEENAGER with all that entails.

One of the facts which I have found very difficult to understand is that Ireland has a population of 4,757,976(according to the census of 2016) and only 3% that is only 142,739 volunteer donors are keeping this country alive with blood.  This makes me very frustrated as I myself am unable to continue donating.

A I was leaving the hotel last night amid a great buzz I was determined to write something about how proud I am of these blood and platelet donors and especially proud of my wonderful husband that I would in some small way try and promote the need for volunteers.  So, if you have thought of donating but have put it off please think again.

It is not scary.  If like me needles aren’t your thing just look away then you won’t know anything about it.  Before you realise it, your donation has been taken.  Again, if you are like me a scaredy cat and just want to bury your nose in a book the staff will not take offence.  However, if you are a chatterbox the staff are great conversationalists.

So here is the information for Ireland: Facebook Irish Blood Transfusion Service: online www.giveblood.ie: phone 1850731137.  Don’t put off donating for another day.  If you are reading this in another country just use a search engine and you will get the information.

Thank You in anticipation