Blood transfusion: Hannah’s story

During my primary school days I had a friend called Nalugo Hannah. Hannah was our neighbor and my close friend. Both her parents were carriers to sickle cell trait but did not know because no one had told them about testing for their genotype until when they gave birth to Hannah. This was after Hannah was tested at six months. She had been sickly and after going to a number of hospitals and carrying out numerous tests her mother was advised to go for a sickle cell test. Tests showed that she had sickle cell disease.

Hannah was started on treatment after sometime and somehow better. Her parents decided to take her to a boarding section at Gyagenda Primary school while there her life was good at the start.

Hannah had made friends and was getting used to her condition. But time came and the weather became cold in school which put her into a crisis and was rushed to the school sickbay. The nurse could not manage her because her condition was critical and she was referred to health centre two. She was worked on and the doctors carried out some tests on her. It was found out that she had fever and was given medication, the doctor promised that she would be fine.

That very night her condition worsened developing breathing complication and was rushed to the district hospital in the early hours of the morning. When they got at hospital there was no doctor on duty so they had to wait until morning to see a doctor.

The doctor arrived at 7 in the morning and attended to Hannah. The test results which came after an hour showed that Hanna’s hb had reduced to 3.5. The doctor recommended that she get 2 pints of blood. The nurses looked for blood but it was nowhere in the whole hospital. Calls were made to the nearby hospitals but all did not have the blood group which Hannah needed to be transfused.

The only alternative left now was to go the National Blood bank at Nakasero but they were warned that it could take many hours or even a day before blood was delivered.

Meanwhile the doctors advised them to call relatives to donate and save Hannah’s life. The mother was tested but her blood group was not matching. The brother came and donated. She was later transfused and gotten better.

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