Sickle cell the vampire that drank my aunt’s blood

I had never thought of how Blood is important until I lost my Aunt 2 years back due to lack of Blood in the hospital

By the time of her death, my Aunt “Nabikolo Agnes ” was 43 and she was living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). We used to be close because of her good relationship with my mom, she always came home and we would also visit her often and that way I always knew about her well being and her long life battle with SCD.

Honestly, she never used to get so many complications and crises and seeing the way other people living with SCD are always in and out of hospital one time I asked her and she told me she had learnt to take care of herself and manage crises. However Aunt Agnes had one major complication, whenever she could get any crisis or any kind of complications her Blood levels would rapidly go down and always needed a blood transfusion.

One fatal Friday morning, she woke up complaining about a fever, she had her medications but the fever didn’t go down, by afternoon she had gotten really weak and her fever only getting worse.

With the help of Carol (her maid), she got to hospital where she was examined and her blood levels had dropped to 3, the doctor recommended a Blood transfusion and fluids for dehydration. Unfortunately, the hospital’s blood bank had run out of blood but promised that blood was to be brought in a few hours. Meanwhile, Carol who was in hospital with Aunt Agnes rang my mom and told her what was happening

We got to hospital at 3pm and Aunt Agnes was getting weaker and weaker.

Immediately my mom went to talk to the doctors about the worsening situation but the doctors were still holding on to their promise of the blood that was to be delivered.

Aunt Agnes was given some more drugs to manage the fever as we waited for the blood but the situation was only getting worse.

At that moment, mom volunteered to donate blood to Aunt Agnes and we went to the doctors to start on the process, about an hour as mom and the doctors were still working on getting blood from my mom, Carol who had stayed with Aunt Agnes back on her sick bed came running and told us Aunt Agnes had breathed her last.

All we could do at that moment till now was to regret why we had not thought of donating blood to Aunt Agnes earlier.

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