My father’s blood saved my life

My mother was admitted at emergency ward of Mulago National Referral hospital in October 2009 and later was transferred to HIV positive ward in this case it was ward 3A.  I attended to her the whole day and at night I went to my uncle’s place to sleep.

I was awoken up in the middle of the night by a painful chest and high temperature. Having a chronic illness like sickle cell is hard, I never know when I will have a good day and at any moment my pain can arrive. I may look fine on the outside but looks can be deceiving, my pain is invisible daily battle of chronic pain and that makes it hard for me to plan anything or even have a regular schedule yet I have been fighting the chronic pain since I was a child.

I had to be taken to Mulago emergency ward late in the night. The doctor came in, took samples to know my blood group and the day passed by without results, at this time I wanted to go visit my mother in the next ward but I could hardly breathe.

My sister looked for a wheel chair, got it and came for me. The truth is I was really badly in shape, I could hardly breath, stand or sit but the thought of my mother being in the next ward yet I could not see her was killing me so I used all the effort in me to get in the wheel chair and go see her. I had been admitted in ward 4B and my mother was in 3A.

She really happy to see me and I felt the same. After some few minutes I returned to my bed but as soon as I slept in my bed my heart started beating faster. I couldn’t breathe normally yet there was no oxygen to be given to me in the ward. The doctor told my father that my only way to survive was by having a blood transfusion and the hospital was out of blood. The whole country was experiencing blood shortage, he told my father to go to the blood bank and order for 2 units of O+.

At this time I could not even see anyone but I could hear everything.

I was shocked to see hear my father crying and saying “My Tinah is dying, am losing my daughter like I lost my boy because of blood”

At 6.30PM Dad came back from the blood bank empty handed but he promised that the blood bank was going to bring the blood in few hours. He reasoned that they could not give it to him since it needed to be transported safely.

I really lost hope of surviving, I could not see and my breathing was decelerating but now I was ready to leave in peace at least there could be no pain any more.

The blood arrived in a special van for a special person who was me. I was blessed with blood that day because my Dad was a blood donor.

So that only signified that those people who are not lucky like me to have a Dad who donated blood in his youthful years died.They die due to lack of blood in the blood bank & few people who donate blood

The blood arrived with my names written all over it but the veins were nowhere to be seen. Three doctors and one nurse tried their best to search for the veins but they failed. I was so tired of this and all I wanted was to breathe normally and rest. The night shift nurse came in and my Dad begged her to help, she gave it all she had and there she did it.

As a few drops entered my veins, the breathing became normal and I could see shadows.

After having been given 2 units of blood, I was allowed to go home and come back for review in 2 weeks’ 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