My sickness taught my relatives the importance of donating blood


In the hospital

Ever since my childhood, I grew up knowing I have sickle cell disease because my parents were ever telling and reminding my elder sisters of it. They keep reminding them so that they could look out for me, but I had never got any effect of it not until I turned 15 years.
I turned 15 in 2008 and I was in form 3. I suddenly fell sick and every part of my body was paining to maximum. I could hardly sit, lying down in one position became very hard, and I started struggling to breath and was rushed to hospital!
Immediately on arrival, the doctor said I needed blood. Am blood group 0+ but there was no blood in the laboratory hospital. I was given morphine that relived me from the extreme pain I was experiencing and put on oxygen for better breathing, although the doctor further said that I had to get transfused for it was what was needed to save my life. All efforts were made in search for blood from other near by hospitals but all in vain. It sounds so unrealistic but true. All main hospitals plus all the private hospitals in a whole of Jinja district none had blood in their laboratories. This put my life at risk, blood was all I needed to be saved but it could not be got any were in the whole district.
At this point, all my family members got to know the importance of donating blood! They were at the verge of losing a child, a young sister, and a friend to many.
Fortunately, one of my sisters had a friend working with the Uganda Red Cross Society and it was through him that my life was saved because he managed to get me 1unit of blood from the blood bank but this saved me although it was not enough for the doctor said I needed around 3 more units for full recovery. My parents, sisters, and friends had to go and donate blood because they needed to save my life.
That was my 1st crisis had got and ever since then, my life is in and out of hospital. I always get admitted almost every after 2 months and I always get blood transfused with a minimum of 3 units on every admission.
Am glad am leaving a positive life amidst the several crisis I get. Once at the university, I got an attack in the middle of a lecture but fortunately everyone around me knew exactly what to do including the lecturer, he had to cut his lecture short and drive me to hospital.
I am grateful to everyone around me coz they are always available at that critical moment for me, they a so supportive and they know the importance of donating blood.
It’s my humble calling to everyone out their to not stigtimatise sickle cell patients bt be supportive to them and donate blood to save a life. And also to my fellow sicklers, please don’t feel less privileged because one can live with sickle cell and still be a better person in life, just like I am doing.

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