Supplying the nation with life-saving products

 

The South African National Blood Service (SANB) held its Blood Drive Controller event on 4 February at the Barnyard Theatre in Cresta Shopping Centre.

The event was held to thank various community members and businesses who partnered with the service to host blood drives in order to supply the nation with life-saving blood products.

According to Debbie Vorster, head of marketing for the Egoli Zone SANBS branch, 3 000 blood units need to be procured every day in order to supply the nation and that one in four people will need a blood transfusion in their lifetime.

Vorster highlighted the importance of citizens with the O blood type to donate regularly as the O group is the most sought after.

“The reason for this is because it is a universal blood group. When a patient is in distress, or there is an emergency case, there is no time to check their blood type,” said Vorster.

Read You are SANBS’s type

“If a mother is bleeding out during childbirth, doctors would give her those O units as it would be compatible with her. So the emergency stocks in the casualty units in hospitals are made up of O blood products, which is why we need more donors to participate.

“Without you as donors and blood drive controllers, we wouldn’t stand a chance. So thank you for your ongoing support.”

Zandi Mosia, the mother of cancer survivor, Bokang, graced the stage to share her son’s heartwarming story of how blood transfusions helped in saving his life. “It started in 2014, early in the morning, when my husband and I noticed a soft bump on his head. We took him to the doctor to do scans and our lives changed. That day we were told that our boy had a massive brain tumour. It was a nightmare,” Mosia said.

Bokang underwent an eight-hour operation, as well as blood transfusions in order to remove the tumour. Doctors warned his family that the surgery had one of two outcomes.

Read Malaria-infected blood top on list of SANBS’s definite no-nos

“We were told he would either come out of it paralysed or not come out of it all. And, thankfully, our son came back alive and was not disabled.”

This was just the beginning of the battle for the family.

“We then found out that he had cancer.”

Bokang underwent chemotherapy and further blood transfusions. During his trips to hospital, he noticed how many children were living on the streets. “And so Bokang decided to start collecting blankets for the needy. So it’s because of people like you, people who are selfless, that he’s not just alive but he’s living his purpose. Thank you very much.”

Bokang (10) shyly concluded, “Thank you for giving blood. It was because of your blood that I’m here today.”

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