Last year 100,000 New Zealanders donated over 160,000 units of whole blood, helping save the lives of 48,000 ordinary Kiwi’s. For many, this great act of giving quite simply made the difference between life and death. This year’s World Blood Donor Day’s theme is ‘Blood saves lives – thank you blood donors.’
Words Natalie Cyra
Last year 100,000 New Zealanders donated over 160,000 units of whole blood, helping save the lives of 48,000 ordinary Kiwi’s. For many, this great act of giving quite simply made the difference between life and death. The theme of this year’s World Blood Donor Day is ‘Blood saves lives, thank you donors.’ The New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is reaching out to say a huge thank you to blood donors; their commitment ensures every single one of us has access to a safe and certain blood supply.
One Kiwi woman knows all about the impact of others donating blood. In 2003, Annee Lambvick collapsed at home with an internal rupture from endometriosis. During the rupture, part of Annee’s ovary and bowel tore away, causing extensive internal bleeding. In severe pain and drifting in-and-out of consciousness, Annee’s husband called 111. Annee underwent emergency surgery and received a life-saving blood transfusion for the blood she’d lost during the rupture. Annee has since made a full recovery, and wants to reach out to say a heartfelt thank you to all donors. Without them, she would not be here today and her husband and four children would have lost a wife and a mother.
“The pain was so severe, that I just did not know if I would be okay and I cried as I went into the theatre, not knowing if I would see my family again,” says Annee.
“I had never thought much about blood [donations and transfusions] and I think it is something you think happens to someone else and not to you. I had thought off and on that it would be a worthwhile cause to donate blood, but I actually never had the courage to do so and I wish I had now as I now realise that any one of my family or friends could be in the position of needing blood. I would like to also think I could help someone I did not know as well who may be in the same position that I was in,” she says.
Annee says it’s awesome that complete strangers people gave up their time and thought to go along and donate blood. “This surely saved my life in June 2003 on what had started out as a normal day for me. I am forever grateful to each and every one who has given blood.”
- The need for blood is constant. In New Zealand, every day around 135 ordinary kiwis need donated blood and blood products.
- There is no alternative for patients in need of blood or blood products – blood donors save lives.
- One donation has the potential to save three lives.
- Less than 4 percent of eligible New Zealanders currently donate blood.
This year, in conjunction with WBDD, NZBS will be putting the power to save lives in the palm of donors hands with the launch of a new app for iPhone and Android users, which will make finding places to donate and booking appointments much easier. Amongst its many new features, donors will receive a notification when their blood has actually been used to save someone’s life.
“It’s just another way to continue saying thank you to our amazing donors. Donors could be at home, on the bus to work or just supermarket shopping and they will receive a thank you. We hope it goes some way to remind them what a wonderful difference they are making to someone else’s life.” says Asuka Burge, National Manager Marketing and Communications for NZBS.