10years back when I was a student, I was enrolled in the blood camp of my university red cross blood donors group. This group basically coordinates in getting the blood (mostly rare blood group) to hospitals and other institutions when they needed them.
University is one place where you have plenty of young students from various parts of the country – obviously there were plenty of people with various blood groups available. I felt it was a good initiative to help the hospitals who otherwise find it hard to get the blood.
There was a cancer institute just next to my college and they often are in need of blood, not just one pint but lot more. I happened to have a rare blood group and was often in demand. I would always volunteer to donate – there were times when I donated blood like every 3months. Sometimes, the patient’s family would want me to meet the patient so that they can thank me; sometimes they would buy me a lunch (although I never encouraged that).
Patients would range from infants to old people. I was just an 18yr old and seeing them suffering often shook me deep down inside. During the 4yrs of my college life, I did what I could do best to help them. But over the time – due to my careless eating habits, my health started deteriorating. My hemoglobin was often low and I was below the standard weight for my height and age.
I joined a similar group at work too. A few years later – someone needed my blood. This time it was a more serious patient. I volunteered to donate my blood. When I went to the hospital, the nurse saw that I was underweight but I asked her to ignore it since I was just a few pounds lesser than the limit. She still insisted to check my hemoglobin count. As expected it was low too. The nurse told me that donating blood with low hemoglobin might cause harm to the patient as well as me. I was not allowed to help the person.
I felt very sad that day because I was not able to save the person because of my carelessness. Had I maintained my body well, I might have been able to help. I am not sure what happened to the patient but that was the last time I ever donated blood.
Take care of your body – not just for your own health and well being but for others too. You never know when you might be able to help others.