The day before the biggest exam of my life, I received a phone call that still gives me nightmares, brings back painful memories, and one that I think of and re live almost every single day. Getting a phone call that your sibling has been in a severe car crash is one you never want to hear. I was left alone in Toronto to write my paralegal licensing exam because that is what Nick would have wanted, not knowing he was in ICU.
I will never forget walking into my brother's hospital room and watching blood transfusion after blood transfusion. Praying that this was not the end, even though I knew for certain it was. In 26 days I had never seen so many blood transfusions, blood bags or blood in general in my life. I took the blood bags for granted in the moment, as I only truly saw them as a substance keeping my brother alive. It wasn't until almost a year and a half later that I truly understood and valued these blood bags, and that moment was when I donated for the first time. I had been anemic for years and never had blood donation on my mind. When I sat in the donation chair I knew I was doing something good, and someone somewhere would receive my blood who at the current moment may not even know they will need it. I remember the Nurse in the screening booth asking me why I decided to donate, and trying so hard not to cry I told her my brothers story. I thanked her sincerely for what she does as I know blood donation can seem so impersonal. My brother would receive nine surgeries after the car accident and in his ninth and final surgery he used 60 units of blood. That is sixty donations & sixty litres of blood in one surgery alone. The donors along with the Nurses and Doctors kept my brother alive. My brother would use Their donations kept my brother alive for almost 26 days after being a passenger in a horrific single vehicle accident and they don't even realize it or know. Blood donation can seem very distant but your blood bag is helping someone in an Immense amount of ways, even if you don't get to see it or get recognition from it.
Every time I hear a siren I know a person, their family, and their friends are starting a journey that will end in triumph or tragedy and these blood bags have an impact no matter what way you look at it. Thank you to those who donate, who will donate, and are thinking of donating, you will help so many people in need! its in you to give!