Tran Thi Mai, a middle-aged woman in Cam Ranh City in the central province of Khanh Hoa, is known as the province’s record holder for the highest times of blood donation.
|Tran Thi Mai, a middle-aged woman in Cam Ranh City in central Khanh Hoa Province, has donated blood nearly 100 times to save people's lives. Photo giaoducthoidai.vn|
Mai has been donated her blood nearly 100 times since 2000. She donates several times per year, sometimes at short notice in emergency cases.
“This is not the final number of my blood donations as I won’t stop doing it. What I really hope is to maintain good health, so I can continue helping those in need,” she told Giáo dục thời đại (Education and Times) newspaper.
Mai has helped her community, has also got her family to donate blood and is a key part of the blood donation movement in Khanh Hoa Province.
Becoming a blood donor
Mai said she was not a regular blood donor until she witnessed the death of an elderly person due to a shortage of blood.
It was 2000 when Mai spent time taking care of her father, who was hospitalised for treatment at Cam Ranh General Hospital.
During that period of time, an elderly man was moved to the hospital for emergency treatment. He lost too much blood and needed a blood transfusion as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, there was not enough blood available for the transfusion. The hospital sought a donation from the patient’s family and volunteers, but the patient couldn’t wait and died.
Witnessing the helplessness of doctors and the hopelessness of the patient’s family, Mai felt she had to do something to stop it from happening again.
She told her mother about blood donation but she objected due to health concerns.
“I was scared and nervous, too. But I told myself that I was doing a good deed and what I was doing would save lives,” Mai said.
After her first blood donation, Mai felt fine and secure about her health. She has continued doing it, and both the amount of donated blood and the number of donations has been increasing.
From a 200ml donation in 2000, Mai has regularly increased the amount to 250ml in 2010 and sometimes 450ml.
At short notice
Mai said she remembered 2012 when she received a phone call from doctors about an emergency case. A 32-year-old woman in Cam Ranh City needed surgery and would not survive without a blood donation.
“The situation was very urgent. I was informed at short notice. I rushed to the hospital and told the doctors to take as much blood as they needed to save the patient,” she recalled.
The patient was saved.
|Mai poses next to the certificates of merit she has been awarded for her good deeds. Photo danviet.vn|
In 2014, Mai was visiting a family member at HCM City’s Cho Ray Hospital when she saw an elderly man needed a blood transfusion for emergency surgery. She decided to donate blood to help him.
Mai realised a patient’s survival could not depend only on stored blood units and blood must be available for emergency cases at short notice.
Mai, who is also chairman of Cam Nghia Ward’s Red Cross, has created a network of 134 blood donors of all types of blood. Apart from regular blood donations, these people volunteer to give blood when needed.
Mai said she was happiest when she won her mother's support, and now she even encourages others to donate.
Mai has received more than 20 certificates of merit for her good deeds. VNS
Tran Phuoc Hung, 39, from Da Nang City is a farmer and founder of a blood donation club with more than 1,400 members who have helped save thousands of critical patients in the city and the nearby province of Quang Nam.
Nguyen Tri Hieu, 48, from HCM City has donated blood 71 times. However, he has set a goal of donating blood up to 100 times or until his health no longer allows him to.