Blood donations honour young Bay Roberts mother
Local mobile donor clinics scheduled next month
Around lunchtime Thursday at the Canadian Blood Services clinic near the Health Sciences Centre, things were bustling.
Sarah Turpin, a mother of three from Bay Roberts who died Oct. 3 from a sudden illness, had asked people to donate in her memory.
Roy Sullivan organized a blood drive held last Thursday in St. John’s, which attracted almost 150 donors, including friends and family.
“We’ve seen amazing outreach from people in the community, and it’s been unbelievable,” said Sullivan
Thursday was the first time he’d ever donated blood. He said he’s already got his next donation booked for 56 days down the road, when he’s eligible again.
Those still looking to honour Turpin’s memory are being encouraged to attend upcoming mobile donor clinics in Bay Roberts and Carbonear. The Carbonear clinic will take place Nov. 18 at the Knights of Columbus Hall. The Bay Roberts clinic will be held the following day in the Grace United Church Hall.
If you’ve done it a few donating blood is a breeze.
They prick your finger to check your iron. You fill out the questionnaire. They swab your arm and the needle goes in. There’s a cookie and a juicebox waiting for you by the door.
But it’s a different beast for firsttime blood donors.
People get turned away for low iron and the questionnaire can be intimidating.
Jane Casey, who’s donated before, said she faints sometimes
“We’ve seen amazing outreach from people in the community, and it’s
when she tries to give blood.
“Needles make me a little nervous,” she said Thursday. “I’m even a little nervous today.”
Registered nurse Deanne Dunphy said that the needle tends to be the focal point for first-time donors.
It doesn’t hurt much, but it does hurt. “Once the needle is in, once it breaks the skin, you don’t feel a thing,” Dunphy said. “I always tell them, it has to hurt — it’s a needle, not a feather. When we start using feathers, it’ll tickle, but until then it’s a needle, so it’s got to hurt a little bit.”
Earlier this fall, Canadian Blood Services was facing a severe blood shortage. At one point it had only a couple of units of the critical O-negative universal donor blood on the shelf.
Blood services goes through ups and downs when it comes to supply — summer is slow because people are on vacation, for example — and this fall, it was facing a situation where a lot of people were cancelling appointments or not showing up.
The hope is that some of the people who are donating will become regular donors, re-booking for every 56 days.