I saved a life today, maybe three. I'm not even sure whose lives I saved. One of them may have been yours.
There wasn't any mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, or running into burning buildings, or jumping in front of bullets.
But there was blood. Lots of it. 500ml in fact.
OK, OK, so I'm no hero. I simply went to the Red Cross and gave blood, something I had promised myself I would do when my dad was sick and having regular transfusions.
It too more than two years, but I finally came through on that promise and it was easy-peasy. The waiting was the hardest part (with thanks to Tom Petty).
I did throw a bit of a spanner in the works given I lived in India as a teenager. Apparently if you have spent more than 6 months in a country where malaria is endemic, your blood needs to be tested for the nasty mosquito-borne disease. Who knew?
Anyway I feel like have made the first small step in giving back some of the blood that my father took out of the system. The transfusions didn't save his life, but they did prolong it, and make him healthier for a short while.
I just hope the family members of the person's whose life I saved feel the same, and go on to donate blood themselves. A rewarding way to pay it forward.