My 3 units of blood

I am Winfred Nabukenya ged 26 years Ugandan living in Kampala. I was born with sickle cell disease. Living with sickle cell disease is a challenge especially when you have no care from relatives. As for me when I get attacks I become anemic.

In 1999, this was my first time I was transfused; I got 3 units of blood after getting an attack following my mother’s death because she was there for me at all times. It affected me a lot in that I spent a week in hospital and it affected my studies but thanks God the condition normalized after receiving those units of blood.

Losing blood is one of the problems that affect me, the second time was in 2000 when I got an accident, following an attack and lost blood so I had to be transfused 3 units till I got healed from the pain.

Living with sickle cell is a challenge but through friends/relatives courage care, love and advice you can live. In 2014, I got a pain in my chest and pain, I tried taking painkillers injections but all in vain. I was taken to a nearby clinic thinking I could be treated, these nurses did not know anything about treating a sickle cell patients, instead of first checking the hb levels they just put drips of water on me hence diluting the blood, my hb dropped. It was too late but God helped and I was rushed to Mulago hospital, where I got immediate attention and was transfused three units of blood then I come back to my normal life. I thank God for that.

Now here comes the worst experience in my life. We girls experience a lot concerning relationships. I fell in love with a man I thought would be my husband; I met him in 2013 and lived with him knowing my sickle cell status. We loved each other not knowing that his parents were not okay with our relationship. They tried forcing him to abandon me and he hid this from me because he thought they would accept one day one time. I lived with him but time came and started changing at first I did not know though I could hear rumors from people. Because of the love I had for him. I did not allow all that was being told until this year in July when he showed me his true colours. I could not believe when he told me it was end between me and him.

I collapsed, because of what I was told, got an attack and treated the pain for the first two weeks but all was in vain until I was admitted. I was affected, lost weight and appetite and eventually the blood levels dropped.

I was transfused the first unit of blood but after a day my hb was checked and it was low at 3. The doctors requested for more two units and they were being given to me but to make matters worse all the blood that I was being given got finished in just less than 40 minutes. Instead of recovering I fell sick the more because of worrying thinking that I was to die any time. The doctors tried all until one doctor suggested that I should be given packed red blood cells. I was given 5 units that brought me back to life.

This was the first experience that I have ever got in life. Thank God that I received the blood I needed during that time.

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