Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington just got a new hip, or as she put it, “there’s a new joint in this joint.”
She required a blood transfusion in the process, and has written a beautiful account of the importance of giving blood on her site.
We’ve excerpted portions below:
Then came the second-day crash. My hemoglobin count had fallen to dangerously low levels. So they gave me a blood transfusion. An average adult human body contains 10 pints of blood and I got two new pints — not a small amount. As I lay there through the six-hour transfusion, I had a lot of time to reflect on what was happening. It’s a very humbling — even overwhelming — experience having someone else’s generosity literally being pumped into your veins. The donors will never know who they helped. It was not something they did for themselves, or even their family or friends. It’s an act of pure empathy and generosity.
In the days since my transfusion, I’ve learned a lot more about both this extraordinary generosity and the extraordinary need for more life-changing and life-saving donations. As of this summer, the Red Cross said blood supplies were at emergency low levels. This is especially critical because one in seven hospital patients will need blood, and yet it cannot be manufactured. Nor do hospitals accept blood from people who have been paid. It must be given on a purely voluntary basis.
If you’re inspired to donate, you can make an appointment at http://www.redcrossblood.org.