A Thank You...

May 1, 2013

Dear Blood Donor:

I am writing to thank you for your decision to share your blood and make it possible for doctors to save the life of another person. The person who receives your gift will never learn your name, but he or she will feel incredible gratitude for your kindness. I am writing my story so that you know what your blood donation can mean to someone.

Last summer (July 2012), I suffered an internal injury and lost a great deal of blood. I was slipping in and out of consciousness, but I remember my five-year-old son watching as I was taken away in an ambulance, and I promised him I would be OK. At the hospital at one point, my vital signs stopped and I came back to consciousness surrounded by a crowd of medical personnel working to help me and I realized that I wasn’t quite as OK as I had hoped. Every part of me felt bad. When you lose a lot of blood, every part of you feels terrible. I had the worst headache of my life, I was nauseated, and I felt like every cell in my body was sick. I barely had the energy to listen to what the doctors and nurses were telling me, and all I knew was that I felt indescribably awful.

Then, they gave me my first blood transfusion. At first it was uncomfortable. The blood is stored in a refrigerator and they don’t warm it up for you so my arm was freezing, plus I’m a squeamish person. Almost immediately, however, I began to feel better. I mean really, really better. My headache went away, my nausea disappeared, my vision came into focus, and I felt totally and completely fine. It was like I had been given a miracle medicine, an instant cure. The transfusions took a long time and my arm got colder and colder, but as I sat there, I could not stop wondering who this person was who had given me their blood. Not sold it, just given it freely, for no other reason than to help a total stranger. I wished I could thank that person. I wished I could tell him or her that I have a young son with autism who needs his mother, and that without blood donors, I don’t know what would have happened to me or my family. Never have I felt such deep gratitude, and I can’t even thank the donor. If you have donated blood before, maybe that person was you. If this is your first time, you will save another life, maybe many lives if you continue to donate. Whoever you are, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

- A truly grateful blood recipient