My early childhood memories start with remembrance of my late grandfather last days. He lived his whole life as widower, father, government executive and devoted religious person. I recall my very few incidents of interactions with him. Once, I gifted my broken toy to one fellow child and my grandfather told me that gift of knowledge and life are a real gift. After few months, on my 5th birthday (as per Vikrimi calendar) he died and I never understood his words, particularly gift of life.
After many years during my late evening office meeting, I received a call from one of my friend. His maternal uncle was in Delhi’s Gangaram Hospital and need 30 units of blood for his operation. I don’t even know my blood group till that day and no idea of blood donation but his voice was coming from deep of his heart that my conscience forced me to do something. Next day I have a morning date at Sonepat District Court and then appointment with Jt. DGFT in New Delhi. So the schedule was: 8.00 – 12.00 date in Sonepat, 14.30 – 16.00 in DGFT Delhi and 16.30 for Blood Donation. It was informed to me that they accept blood only till 5 PM.
When I reached Gangaram at 16.40 after my 200 km long run that day, this was not a heroic welcome but a welcome of a living god by son of a seriously critical patient. Doctor was waiting to do some test on my blood before donation and nurses were ready to extend all help. After 10 Minute, I was in donation room. This was a well equipped facility with all technical and mechanical help. Most painful moment for me was the needle. I really have phobia and even an injection at medical store can scare me. But, that day my heroic welcome, intention of help and prayers toward all patients stopped me to share information of this phobia with nurses. When I was about to share this nurse did her job and in next 5 minutes she came again and asked me to take juice and biscuit. Amazed!! In no time, they have taken blood. I really did not feel flow coming out of my body through that bloody needle.
At that night, I was thinking about whole day long satisfaction, the advice given by my late grandfather just clicked in my mind. This was the day I understand the meaning of his advice.
Thereafter I start donating blood on regular interval. I pledge to donate my eyes after death and planning a pledge donate my other organs and body after death. But real fun was still awaiting me.
This was on valentine day evening last year while leaving my office; I received a call from unknown number. There was an urgent need for platelets of an old woman at Forties Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi. I had no knowledge about this platelets donation. Between the call, I asked an unwilling auto rickshaw to take me there telling all urgent need for saving a life. With increasing crime in Delhi, I told the caller that I will surely reach the hospital only believing that he really need help.
The auto rickshaw driver was not willing to co-operate as usual but after listening he did meter down. He was now an interested person. On his advice, I cross check all information with Fortis Hospital reception and send messages all contact details to my family members. At hospital, I met an unwilling son of a dying useless old woman (sorry for these harsh words) and very caring worried old aged husband.
Hospital staff took my blood sample for testing because it is costly to take useless platelets. After one and half hour wait, they announced that my blood and platelets are really useful. I was asked to lie – down on a very costly sophisticated state of art machine. It was told to me that this machine uses centrifugal force to separate the blood from the platelets. The blood is then returned to the body without the platelets. This means that a donor would not feel dizzy or light-headed like a donor who donated full blood.
When machine started its work, blood went out of body in its normal flow and then immediately returns to body. The machine repeat the process again and again until it receives enough platelets as asked. My platelet count was not high enough hence machine repeated this process for long. This was really a great lifetime experience and great fun for me. I recall my second phobia, the roller coaster ride. I received more enjoyment in this process then real roller coaster ride without any life threatening fear. I had no chance to get injured by being falling apart. When Blood goes out, you are going up and up of roller coaster. When it returns to body, you are experiencing low gravity enjoying coming down.
While you can donate blood once in three-months, you can donate platelets once in after every three days. This gives enjoyment, satisfaction, self-respect, self-determination and everything which give a meaning to your life.
I decided to share this experience as my blogging entry for Indiblogger-Indichange-IDiya contest. iDiya is ISB’s National Social Venture Competition that aims to stimulate, enable and develop high-impact, self-sustaining social businesses in India. Read more about IDiya here.