At the core of it, I want to say thank you.
I know that when you decided to sit down and donate a pint of your own blood, you didn’t know that it would go to me. You didn’t know who it would go to. You might’ve imagined that it would go to a car crash victim, or an elderly woman, or a child who fell down the slide, but it went to me. I know that you don’t know me, or know the impact it would have on my life, but you helped me anyway. So I wanted to introduce myself to you.
My name is Sarah. I’m a little less than a month away from my 21st birthday. I study English and Linguistics in college and spend the little spare time that I have tutoring in my school’s Writing Center. Before one Monday evening, aside from some pesky migraines, I was the picture of health. I had no plans to be rushed to the hospital that evening after I vomited blood in the library. I had no plans to spend that entire night in the emergency room, then the rest of that week in the hospital because my hemoglobin levels kept decreasing. I had no plans to need my stomach to be stapled to stop the bleeding, and I certainly had no plans to receive a blood transfusion.
I was absolutely terrified of needles before that Monday, and IVs were an entirely different story. The thought of a tube sitting inside of my arm was honestly more unbearable than the bleeding was itself. So, when the doctors told me I would need a blood transfusion, I was terrified. When they carried in that red-tinted bag, I couldn’t stand the sight of it and forced myself to look away. I vowed that I would sleep for the three hours it that it would take for your blood to enter my body, and shockingly I actually did.
When I woke up, though, I could feel myself becoming me again. I’d spent days unable to walk to the bathroom without help from a nurse. I’d spent the majority of those days asleep, too weak to even mindlessly watch the television above my bed. A few hours after the transfusion, though, I was able to stand on my own and, within a few days, I was able to return home. I was able to get better because of you.
These feats may seem small in comparison to those accomplished by other recipients of blood donations, but without you, I don’t know when I would’ve been able to leave the hospital. When I was sitting in that hospital room, unable to keep my eyes open, I wasn’t entirely certain that I ever would leave that hospital. My normal life seemed so far away but, with your donation, I was able to get better. I was able to go back to school and to work. I was able to go back to being me again.
For that, I cannot thank you enough.