St Margaret's blood donation team went off to donate blood in the semester break.
Team Red, a group of six brave Members and one nervous Dean of Students, were picked up in a van by the lovely Lynn from the New Zealand Blood Service and driven away to donate their precious blood. Only one of us had ever donated blood before, but according to the Blood Service, just one donation can help save the lives of up to three people. So, potentially we were going to make a difference in twenty-one people’s lives!
Unfortunately, despite our best intentions the trip turned into a comedy of errors. The first hurdle was registering to donate. At that point two Members were asked not to donate that day (for various reasons) but were asked to wait a few weeks and try again.
The next problem was getting the blood to come out! One member’s blood stubbornly refused to flow, and her poor quarter bag of blood was deemed not enough for donation. However, it was sent off to be used in research and training, so it wasn’t wasted.
Four managed to produce enough of the precious red liquid to fill a bag and were rewarded with applause, hot chocolate and Kit Kats.
But as they say, it isn’t over until the fat lady sings! Soon after our refreshments, two ended back in the (lovely comfortable) blood donation chairs with a delayed reaction that apparently happens to 1 in 200 people. Recovery was quick but during the delay our driver Lynn had to run out to the street and talk the Parking Warden out of giving her a parking ticket – as she’d been there too long waiting for us to be finished!
We eventually left, carrying our little Blood Dude toys, gifts from the lovely people at the Blood Service who assured us that registering to donate was the biggest step and that we’d done a marvellous job. We certainly felt like heroes, and we’ll return again to save another life or two.