Blood shortage almost left me permanently disabled

Am Waako Phiona, 23years living in Jinja town Eastern part of Uganda. Truthfully its not been easy growing up with sickle cells.

My life is always in and out of hospital which is not easy at all because on every admission, I have to be transfused with a minimum of 3 units of blood.

In 2008 while I was 15 years, I got a crisis that left me disabled to date. The crisis was so severe that I could not move my lower limbs. The doctor said the condition was because of lack of blood and that it could become permanent if I didn’t get the blood in time and consistently. He said I had to get 8 units of blood in 8 days, making it 1 unit par day.

I didn’t move my lower limbs for 8 months, from June 2009 to February 2010 and during all this time I was in Nalufenya children’s hospital in Jinja.

Fortunately, the condition didn’t become permanent although it left me disabled. The paralysis was reversed thanks to the doctors but my right hip joint collapsed because of taking 8 months paralyzed. After the 8 months on discharge, my right hip joint became a history, I couldn’t walk without support, couldn’t bend and couldn’t sit on low surfaces and this I still experience till today.

This condition was brought up due to lack of blood in the hospital laboratories, the absence of the laboratory doctors from duty or their lack of humanity because they didn’t priotise the blood requests that were sent to them from the doctor and they made them wait in line just like others not knowing that the blood is an emergency to life and it cannot be made wait.
I always received the blood very late and some days I didn’t receive it. This was contrary to the doctors orders.

I call upon all the laboratory doctors to please priotise blood requests because they are emergencies and also to other people out their to please donate blood save a life and not only sickle cell patients but also other patients that need blood to save their life.

Key Entry Rules

  1. You must be someone with Sickle Cell Disease or have some strong connection with SCD through kinship, friendship or caring responsibility.
  2. Your story – which must be true and should include some aspect of the importance of blood in the narrative – must be between 200–2,000 words.
  3. We expect most entries to come from Africa, but where you live is less important than the story you have to share.
  4. Stories must be submitted by the contest deadline of 30 September 2016.
  5. Photographs and other media can be included and are very much encouraged.
  6. First, second and third place winners will be awarded a monetary prize of $500/$350/$250 respectively. There will also be two special $125 prizes for standout young contestant (under 16) and standout health care professional, if not represented among the overall winners.

Story Criteria

Contest Rules

Past Winners