A Blood Drive Catastrophe


On November 3, 2020, I participated in a blood drive at school. Prior to this, I was very excited to donate blood because I had never done it before. My friend Abby Domingue, junior, and I had signed up together the day before the drive, she says, “I was excited to donate my blood because it is a good way to give back to other people.” Usually, I am not the type of person to be scared of blood work or needles, but on this day, my body thought otherwise.

The criteria for this blood drive was you had to be at least 115 pounds, you cannot have high blood pressure, and you must be feeling healthy and well. This is just what the nurses told us to make sure that we were eligible to give blood, but they forgot to mention that we would have to get our fingers pricked to make sure our iron levels are okay, and that we would have to go through a 5-10 minute physical before we could even start donating blood. I was okay with all of these things because it was nothing that I had never done before. Little did I know that what came next would cause me to check out of school an hour later.

After my physical, the nurses directed me to a comfortable lounge chair and offered me some juice or a snack, which of course I took to make sure my body would not give up on me after I took out a pint of blood. Then it began, the nurse put the needle in my arm and the blood started flowing. For the time being, I was completely fine. I had another friend, junior, Lily Franques sitting next to me, she says, “It was so cool to know that you are helping others, like it just shows even though you are young you can still help your community.” Lily finished before me, so when I was finished I walked out by myself feeling completely fine, or so I thought.

November 3rd was also the day of the mock election at Ascension that my fellow Journalism classmates and I hosted. After walking out of the blood drive bus, I made my way to the gym where I spoke in front of the entire school about the election results. After my part in the election was over, one of my friends told me that I looked a bit pale, and come to think of it, I was also not feeling the best. When everyone was dismissed from the gym, I headed to Journalism class, like usual, when I started getting a terrible migraine. I called my mom to let me check out, and I headed home. Immediately when I got home, my mother saw me and I could tell she looked worried because of how pale and weak I looked. I gave her a big hug before heading to my room, and I felt my body go limp. I knew something was wrong and that I needed to go rest. After this, I do not really remember anything. All I know is that I took the best nap ever, and woke up not knowing what time it was, or even where I was. I got up to see where my mom was, and right as she saw me, she rushed to me to make sure I was feeling better. Honestly, I did feel much better, I just felt a little weak.

The reason for telling this story is to let you all know that if you have not donated blood before, make sure your body is able to tolerate it because I know mine sure wasn’t. Although it may not be for everyone, donating blood is very important, and I do recommend that you at least consider it. Overall, this experience was definitely not one to forget, but on the bright side, I did help a lot of people, which is the greatest outcome of all.