Donating Blood Really Can Make the Difference Between Life and Death
The day a stranger saved my life
When I was pregnant with my second daughter, Clara, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I worried about my life and the life of my unborn daughter. There was never a choice for my husband and me as to whether we were going to continue on with the pregnancy, even though we knew the cancer could spread.
I was a kid in the '80s when everybody talked about AIDS and needles, and I did not want another person's blood inside me.
Apparently, I had some major blood clotting and hemorrhaging at the same time. The doctors fixed the clot and tied up all the leaks, but I had a lot of blood loss. The doctors thought perhaps they could wait a little while and I would naturally restore my own blood. However, my blood oxygen level decreased. They let me know that I had to make the choice to have a transfusion, but I didn't want one. I was a kid in the '80s when everybody talked about AIDS and needles, and I did not want another person's blood inside me.
I pondered this decision for hours while I was in a state of relative consciousness. Finally, a wonderful nurse came in and said that she understood how I felt because she had to have a transfusion about three years earlier after an accident. She explained that she wouldn't have even been there to help me had she not received the transfusion. I realized if I didn't accept the blood transfusion that I might not be there for my daughters any longer. So I consented, and within minutes they had a few pints of some stranger's blood pouring into me.