Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why Donate Blood? One Woman's Story

When Nancy Smith’s husband developed a serious infection, he received five pints of blood and numerous platelets that saved his life.

That was the first time someone close to this licensed clinical professional counselor at Levindale’s Behavioral Health Day Program needed blood. However, it wasn’t the first time Nancy realized that blood donations could be the difference between life and death. After all, she began giving when she was 19 years old. That’s an amazing 47 years of rolling up her sleeve!

Nancy is among the many Levindale employees planning on donating at the Friday blood drive, held in Schwaber Multi-Purpose Room at Levindale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

While she’s never met the people her donations have helped, Nancy knows that among the many groups in need of blood are those suffering from burns, accident victims, people with diseases and premature babies.

“I started donating at a young age because it was something I could do,” explains Nancy. “I’ve continued for nearly five decades because I’m glad to have the opportunity to serve those in need.”

Nancy says there’s no reason to be afraid of the process. “If you give at Levindale, from beginning to end, the whole thing only takes about 45 minutes. That includes giving your medical history, donating, and eating cookies and pretzels afterward.

The donation, itself, takes about ten minutes. Nancy says it doesn’t hurt her at all, but she urges anyone on the fence about giving to focus on what the person who needs the blood is going through instead of the quick stick you will experience. She also reminds you that it hurts much more to get shots to travel abroad.

Nancy doesn’t do anything special to prepare except eats foods rich in iron a week or two before she donates. Women especially can experience low iron levels, so it’s important to make sure they’re normal.

“If you are reluctant to give, search your conscience,” advises Nancy. “It really is a privilege. After all, one pint of blood can save as many as three lives.”

First-time donors can find more information here. If you would like to donate on Friday, call Janine Boulad at extension 410-601-2260 or Mel Lindenmuth, R.N., at 410-601-2312 to sign up. All LifeBridge Health employees and community members are welcome, and walk-ins are accepted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great message that you are putting acroos to everyone, it's us who have to make the differenbec to thousands of lives..
But there are many aspects that need our attention and HIV Aids is a major one of them

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