“I donated blood again today, Mom. Now – I’m up to four pints. I could have saved your life”, my daughter explained to me yesterday.
“Not quite. Mom needed 6 pints, Katya”, my husband added.
“Yes. Four during surgery and two after.”
Yup. It took six pints of blood to keep me alive. When I think of all the things that I needed to get to this point it baffles my brain. If the cancer hadn’t got me – it may have been a lack of blood.
I never really even gave it much thought until my daughter pointed out her efforts to “save my life”. Who were those people who gave me their blood? I don’t even know them. What were they thinking as they sat in that chair and offered themselves to some random stranger? How can I even begin to thank them for their contribution?
My daughter explained to me how many questions she had to ask before the nurses would allow her to donate. “Were you in England during this time to this time? Do you have a grand- parent from South America?” And then there were the sex questions… I won’t repeat. I guess it was pretty intense – and invasive, although completely private. I had no idea. I must admit, though, that I found it very comforting to know that blood is now so intensely screened. I’d hate to survive cancer, only to find that I had contracted some other disease. So far, so good.
And here I sit – because of six pints of donated blood. I often wonder if the blood ended up coming from one donor – or two – or six different ones? What motivated them to donate? Were they trying to give back to the system as my daughter had? I’ll never know. I will likely always only imagine their stature, their employment, their motivations.
“I have another two more trips to the blood donor clinic to go, then”, continued my daughter.
“Yup”, replied my husband. “It took six pints to save your Mum.”
Amen to donors – is what I say!