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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 01 May 2016 00:00

Donate Blood to Benefit Oneself and Others

Written by  Tham Yok Seng, Tampin / Translated by Oon Chee Yuan

At the end of blood donation campaign, Tampin Hospital representatives presented certificates of appreciation to Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Tay Chun Wie]

“After donating blood, the alcohol tasted differently, it became very bitter,” Jimmy Yau, a blood donor, recalled his first experience when he started donating blood at the age of 20 out of curiosity. But it has unexpectedly led him into a constant life-saving blood donation streak for over ten years, and has built a good foundation for a better health.

It was already half past eight on May 1, 2016, but the shrine area at Tzu Chi Tampin Liaison Office was still missing their blood donation equipment. Only a few tables and a row of chairs could be seen. Volunteers began to feel uneasy, thinking “what could have happened?”

Just when the volunteer in charge was about to phone the hospital, the blood bank vehicle from Tampin Hospital arrived. The medical staff practically jumped off their vehicles, opened the doors and transported the equipment in lightning speed. Volunteers immediately lent a helping hand. Both sides have developed a good understanding after many years of cooperation.

Everyone lifted the heavy equipment in relays to the third floor. They were relieved when everything was laid out perfectly with just five minutes from 9 am, the scheduled commencement time of the campaign.

Originally this blood donation campaign was supposed to be taken care by another hospital, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the blood bank group from Tampin Hospital had to take over at last minute. They had to rush all the way from Port Dickson, where a similar blood donation campaign was held the day before.

First blood donation led to last alcohol consumption

The first lucky donor came to know that he was not qualified after going through a pre-donation inspection at the blood counter. He was filled with doubts as it was his first inspection failure in 30 years, but he left with relief after the medical personnel explained to him patiently.

The second donor just reached the legal age for blood donation. However, his weight is far from the required standard. He left after hoping for a better fate next time.

Jimmy Yau was the first successful donor. At 37, he recalled donating his first bag of blood at SJK(C) Chung Hua Tampin when he was 20 years old. “I went out of curiosity. I was young then. I had a drinking habit during that time; the alcohol tasted differently somehow after the first blood donation. It became very bitter and I have been staying away from alcohol ever since,” he shared proudly. Till this day, he has been maintaining a healthy body.

Amateur donor faced donation cheerfully

“Amateur” donor Kong Win Haw, a 20-year-old young man, is a young hairdresser. He was not scared at all, and had even laughed it off, while lying on the bed, with fresh blood flowing from the tube into the blood bag.

He said frankly: “I came out of curiosity. I was a little bit scared initially, but the injection felt like an ant bite. It wasn’t really as scary as I thought, except that my hands and feet were feeling icy cold.”

After his blood donation, volunteers treated him with a hot drink, and his hands and feet started to feel warmer and his palms turned sweaty. “Well, the iceberg has melted, ha ha!” he joked. In the midst of their laughter, volunteers also shared the Tzu Chi missions with him.

Nathan a/l Balakrishnan is a Tzu Chi member. He was not able to donate for charity monthly due to his place of residence. Today he brought his friends along to donate blood. While enjoying their tea, volunteers began to explain to him the spirit of the bamboo bank, providing him with options of making donations. He went home with a bamboo bank, hoping to continue doing good in future.

Your health is in your own hands

Blood donation is recognized as a life-saving deed. However, if during the blood test, the donors’ blood and blood pressure appear to be strange, they would be notified immediately, thereby giving the donors the opportunity to improve or control the condition of their personal health.

Volunteer Wen Qiu Wei seized the opportunity to donate, but she was rejected after the blood test. “Blood pressure failed!” The medical staff pointed out that her index was far below standard, and reminded her of the need for supplementary iron, as well as, other nutrients intake. She then recalled having dizziness recently, which must have been caused by her low blood pressure. Indeed one can save oneself by wanting to save others.

Uninvited guest felt delighted after helping out

One of Tampin’s blood bank group members, Mohd Nazari bin Mohd Nor, was a very busy man that day. Although his right palm was covered in bandages, he was still classifying and packing packets of blood bags using the other hand.

When volunteers came forward to express their concerns, he said: “I accidently sprained it at home while doing housework. It has yet to recover after one month.” Currently on sick leave resting at home, he still came forward to help as he was feeling very bored by himself when his wife and children were not at home. He specially came to visit and chat with his friends but could not help assisting his buddies in handling the blood bag record.

This time, the medical staff featured many new faces, and Mohd Nazari naturally became a consultant being a senior. He made proper arrangements for the work and was very happy after helping out.

Today, the various new virus incubation periods have made us more cautious. To protect everyone’s life, medical staff has become more vigilant with their inspections. With stricter blood donation inspection standards, many donors could not even get pass the first round. On that day, there were 71 public members and volunteers who registered but only 49 succeeded in making a blood donation.

Jimmy Yau quit alcoholism after blood donation. [Photograph by Tay Chun Wie]   Forty-nine kind souls successfully donated their blood on that day. [Photograph by Tay Chun Wie]

Jimmy Yau quit alcoholism after blood donation. [Photograph by Tay Chun Wie]
Forty-nine kind souls successfully donated their blood on that day. [Photograph by Tay Chun Wie]