Read on for some inspiring stories of people who have given blood and keep coming back, to give more.
Mr. Kumars journey in Blood banking started in 1985 as a youngster. There was a fire at a circus in Bangalore where 60 school children were severely burnt and eight children died. There was complete mayhem and the children were shifted to various hospitals. Blood was required in large scales to save lives. At that time there was very little awareness about blood donation in Bangalore. His brother and he stood in a queue in front of Victoria Hospital for seven hours and in order to donate Blood. Since then he has been a regular donor. Eight years back, Mr Kumar decided to get married and had a blood donation camp along with his reception. When he went to distribute his wedding invitations, people kept saying “Mr Kumar, only a madman would do this!" Weddings are considered auspicious, and if even a drop of blood spills it would be perceived as terribly inauspicious. Mr Kumar stuck to his guns. His wife and he inaugurated his wedding reception by being the first two people to donate blood. His media friends were invited and he told them not to publicize the event but to donate blood for the cause instead. 55 units were collected and a lot of people landed up at the venue to donate uninvited. This incident gained publicity all over India because of its uniqueness. Another incident took place when Mr. Kumar had gone to Madurai for a sports meet, and a lady got hit by a scooter and was bleeding profusely. Nobody on the road even bothered to help her, so Mr. Kumar took matters in to his own hands. He took her in a rickshaw to the nearest hospital. A young child insisted that she also accompany the "bleeding Aunty” to the hospital. The lady was admitted and as she had lost a lot of blood, she needed immediate blood transfusion. This young girl stood in the front of the blood bank and motivated donors to save the lady. She motivated 15 donors and the lady’s life was saved. One patient from Jeevoiah witness sect was in a very critical condition and hence was admitted in the hospital. In this sect they are neither allowed to give blood nor receive any however serious the patient's condition might be. The doctor on duty took a tough stand as the patient's condition was critical and was determined to save the patient's life. The patient was only seven years old. He had an open heart surgery, blood was transfused and the boy recovered completely. At that time the boy took an oath that when he grew up he would be a priest and in church he would faithfully defend blood donation and also popularise it.
Her story began six years ago, when a very poor agriculturist called her for help for his brother who had been admitted to Kidwai Cancer hospital and was diagnosed with grade three cancer. Lata Amashi was instrumental in helping him get 42 units of platelets from Rotary TTK blood bank and he was completely cured. He returned back to his village in North Karnataka and sent about 50 people from his village to donate blood at Rotary TTK blood bank as a way of saying "Thank You." At present Dengue has raised its ugly head in Karnataka. Lata Amashi was summoned by Rotary TTK blood bank to be the Goodwill ambassador for the eradication of dengue in Bangalore. It is a very difficult task to motivate human donors on a one to one basis. Meanwhile the dengue virus is becoming more and more virulent every year. The only treatment advocated by the medical fraternity is infusion of single donor platelets. Male donors are attached to a blood separator machine which extracts only platelets and returns all other components back into the blood stream through a process called apheresis. She approached Cauvery Degree College located at Indiranagar last month. The Pricipal Mrs Hansa Muthanna, personally motivated over 100 students for platelet donation at our blood bank. It’s incredible but true. A few families from Rotary Bangalore Indiranagar, rose to the challenge and volunteered for platelet donation. We designated Saturday as family platelet donation day in our blood bank.
Andaleeb is a Bangalore based writer who works at Quadwave and recently, she became acquainted with Lata through Bleed Hope and a blood donation campaign held at Quadwave. Blood donation was a real concept for her as she was already involved with Bleed Hope, but it became something entirely bigger when someone close to her fell sick. Her sister’s husband was diagnosed with dengue on Eid and it was a harrowing experience arranging platelets for him as his platelet count was rapidly decreasing. Andaleeb immediately thought of contacting Lata for platelets, who in turn went out of her way to arrange them for her. Lata spoke to the blood banks and ensured that Andaleeb’s family would receive the platelets as soon as they arrived and considering that dengue is on the rise in the city, it was nothing short of a wonder that Andaleeb’s family was able to get the platelets in such short notice. Her brother-in-law took a while to recover and he needed several rounds of platelet transfusions until his platelet count stabilised. Andaleeb and her family are eternally thankful to Lata for her kindness, dedication and thoughtfulness.
Five years ago at a camp, a handicapped donor who suffered from polio approached Dr Nagaraj for blood donation. He approached Dr Nagaraj and touched him by saying “I know I will not be able to use my legs. I will use my body to donate blood to save other's life.” Later, a donor's father was suffering from dengue. He needed five units of AB negative urgently .The father's immunity was dropping at an alarming rate and the doctor's had given up on all hope. The donor scouted all over Bangalore for blood. Out of the blue, the relatives of other patients from the hospital and the hospital staff donated blood and his life was saved. And till date this donor is donating blood regularly every three months.
A few years ago, a patient was admitted in Manipal Hospital. His blood group was Bombay group, which is a rare group found among Indians. The cardiac surgeon wanted to perform an immediate surgery the very next day, because of the criticality of his condition. As a general rule, it is important to stock blood of the same group before surgeries. That is done in order to take care of all eventualities and tide over criticality through blood transfusion. Experience has proved that it is very difficult to find donors from the Bombay group. With great difficulty Mr Praveen located the donors, but they were not willing to donate. Finally, after much persuasion one lady agreed to, but was deemed unfit to donate because of her low hemoglobin levels. Thanks to the efforts by Mr. Praveen, donors flew down from Mangalore and Chennai, and the surgery was successful although it was postponed by two days. He should be applauded for his commitment to save lives, quick response time and going beyond the call of his duty. Another interesting story took place about six years ago, a lady delivered in a hospital outside Bangalore. She was in an extremely critical condition when she was admitted in Manipal Hospital. She was bleeding profusely and the dividing line between life and death was very thin. Mr Praveen elicited the support of the staff of Manipal hospital and the whole hospital stood to donate blood and the patient was administered about 50 to 60 units of blood products which saved her life.
Dr. Rajshekharappa is the chief medical officer of Red Cross Blood Bank. About 40 years ago he spoke of his friend Dr.(Late) S.N Kaulgud who was the Professor of Obstetrics and gynaecology in Mysore Medical College. In those days there was little awareness on blood donation. He had to operate on a patient for hysterectomy for which she needed blood. Luckily, the patient’s and the surgeon’s blood group matched and Dr Kaulgud donated his own blood which was infused into the patient the next day due to which she survived.