Friday, August 16, 2013

DON’T THE TOP BLOOD DONORS OF MALAYSIA ALSO COUNT AS NATIONAL HEROES? – PART II.

By Mansor Puteh



I have been donating blood regularly for many years. And today, I just donated blood for the 390th time today; and thanks to my classmate in Form Six in Petaling Jaya, Alex of Kelang, who brought me into this exciting habit, who asked me to join him to donate blood as he had already started to do it earlier. 

I could have become the top blood donor of the country if I had not forgotten to donate blood for ten years.

The reason being I left the country to pursue my education abroad and during the three years I was there I forgot to donate blood.

And upon my return I still forgot to do so, until seven years later when I remembered and immediately went to the Pusat Darah Negara which was then at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

It moved to another place and returned back to the original place before they were given a brand-new building all by itself, and which sits beside the Balai Seni Visual Negara (BSVN).

For me it was convenient as I could go to the gallery and donate blood in one trip.

My life seems to be around blood donation, as I often arrange for appointments and meetings when I am donating blood, which is every two weeks.

Unlike many others whose lives are around their trips to the shopping complexes and accessing the internet, and other hobbies, etc.

And if I have to travel abroad, I make sure I do it after I have donated blood a day or two later, so when I return I can immediately donate again.

In June and July I made few trips abroad and I made sure this schedule was adhered to, so that my next trip to Portugal on 13 August, happens a day after I have donated blood another time.

I look forward to being able to donate blood for the 400th time in January or February next year.

There were few times when I returned to the blood center after nine days because I had forgotten when was the last time I had gone there to donate.

And over the years, I have come to know all the nurses and doctors at the blood center, some of whom had retired.

From what I have found out, there has been just one case when a donor got married to one of the nurses.

I found all the nurses and doctors to be remarkable treating each donor like they were welcome guests, even though many of the donors are shy and do not talk that much. 

And of the top and regular blood donors I have not heard of anyone of them suffering or dying of major diseases, which is comforting; this may due to the constant blood pressure and other tests that they are subjected to during the whole time they are donating blood. 

I like to cheer them up by saying, jokingly, how if they do not smile and if the donors also do not smile, those who receive their blood would be affected by the moods of the donors.

The sad truth is that, there are many Malaysians whose lives are arranged around this activity and over the many decades they have donated so many times.

I have not seen anyone who have donated so many times, as the donors come from all backgrounds and no one can tell who has donated how many times and how often.

But there are there, coming to the blood center to do their civic duty without seeking any fame or monetary rewards.

Yes, they do get some interesting presents in the form of ballpoint pens, tee-shirts and mugs, but that’s about all they could get from their contribution to society, which does not care to know who they are, and why they have been donating blood.

But I do care, and I am sure many Malaysians too want to know who they are.

Unfortunately, till now there has never been any documentary produced to highlight the country’s top blood donors.

I am certain they are the ordinary folks who one can see doing about their daily activities, the ones who do not talk too much about their blood donating activities.

Personally, as a regular blood donor, I also want to know who are the top blood donors of Malaysia, as much as the members of the public, who may have benefited from their personal charity, without knowing who the donors are. 

He can be out there, unassuming and undeclared and unrecognized – and he could be the man who sits quietly in the bus going about his daily business and conducting his personal chores.

He is, no doubt, a True Malaysian Hero, the unsung and unrecognized type.

And can we see the Blood Donors of Malaysia Wall of Fame in the lobby of Pusat Darah Negara?


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