IFRC

You might not have considered it, but giving blood is more than a habit. It is a real necessity

Published: 12 June 2014 13:23 CET

By Nele de Vos, Belgian Red Cross

Evelyn Dejonckheere (28) of Torhout has just given birth to a beautiful baby daughter. But what should have been one of the greatest moments of her life turned into a real drama. Luckily, it all went well in the end.

“The birth itself went well,” says Evelyn. “Paulien came into the world without a problem. But at some point in the process I started bleeding internally. It was as if somewhere in my body a bag was filling with blood. When they were unable to drain it away I had to go under the knife.

“The midwife asked me if my mother had ever had complications in childbirth. But she hadn't. While I was pregnant the midwives had asked me to consider giving birth at home. But, since this was my first child, I decided to have it in the maternity ward. I'm so glad now that I did.

“I had lost so much blood before and during the operation that they gave me three units of blood while I was still on the operating table. When I eventually came round I was very drowsy. I could hardly get out of bed. I was so weak they had to put my daughter in my arms for me. To bring my blood count back to normal I was given another bag of O+. As if by magic I was up and about again, just an hour or two later. It's like having life pumped back into your body. I can't describe it any other way.”

14 June is World Blood Donor Day and this year's theme is ‘Safe blood for saving mothers’.

“I think it is great that they have chosen this theme,” says Evelyn. “Because it makes people stop and think that even the most memorable occasions can go wrong. Mothers and children can sometimes need blood during childbirth. I know that now through my own experience.”

“My husband and I have already donated blood, but it never occurred to me that I might need blood myself one day. It has made me and my family even more certain about blood donation. But, actually, everyone should do it. Maybe we should bring our friends and family along when we next give blood. That will be another step in the right direction.”




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