Donated blood saved my mum

SPH Staff, including TNP reporter Colin Tham (below), and members of the public donated a total of 161 units of blood yesterday.
PHOTO: Donated blood saved my mum

If I were writing this a year ago, I would have vehemently objected to any form of blood donation.

I wouldn't say I was afraid of needles, but the idea of having my blood sucked out of me through a tube was certainly something I would have liked to avoid.

So I made awkward excuses and avoided joining my friends whenever they tried to persuade me to sign up for a blood donation drive. But everything changed at the beginning of this year, when my mum had to be hospitalised due to severe anaemia.

She was given a new lease of life after two blood transfusions a few months apart.

We have all watched at least one movie where someone who was seriously injured needed a transfusion, but tragically dies due to the lack of available blood at the hospital.

Thoughts like this crossed my mind many times during that period and I remember thinking how fortunate we were that somewhere, someone had stepped up to donate the blood that became my mum's lifeline.

These people had saved the life of someone I love.


I underwent a complete change. I now actively donate blood whenever an opportunity arises.

Like the Singapore Press Holdings Red Apple Day held at the News Centre Auditorium yesterday.

The biannual drive, jointly organised by SPH and the Singapore Red Cross, collected a total of 161 units of blood from 225 donors - 41 units and 55 donors more than the one held in January.

Yesterday's instalment of the blood donation drive was supported by Beatty Secondary School, which had more than 30 school teachers, students and their parents volunteering at the various stations like registration and consultation.

Yesterday's donation was the second of what I hope will be my many future contributions back to society.

In doing this, I hope my blood goes to someone who needs it, just like how someone's blood allowed my mum to continue living. To quote a story that I read on the Internet where a good deed went round the world to help the person who initially offered help: "Today you, tomorrow me."

Helping others one blood bag at a time.

Mr Alan Chan, chief executive officer of Singapore Press Holdings, said the company's blood donation drives are specifically held before festive seasons to help maintain the blood supply.

He said: "We have noticed that the blood bank typically runs low during festive periods."

Mr Ken Low, UFM 100.3 presenter, who was giving his blood for the ninth time, said: "This is the least I can do for the community. It is very easy to give and you don't lose anything by donating blood.

"It is very natural, and even helps keep you healthy by making your body produce newer blood."

Mr Mohit Kumar, 22, a permanent resident from India who is serving national service, donated blood for the first time in Singapore yesterday.

He said: "I thought I should give back to the community here, and this is one of the ways in which I can do that. "I want to help save lives here in Singapore too."

This article was first published on August 6, 2014.
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