Gift of Life

Clariza Mercado , Staff Writer

Even before the first bell rang to start school, van after van from the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center drove towards the back of the school to start their mission of collecting blood and plasma products. Nurses carrying blue boxes and equipment came in and out the small gym doors. While many of SkillsUSA health science members set up tables for the different stations students would have to go through before and after donating.

When walking into the gym the first thing heard was the music softly being played by a radio in the background. As students and teachers walked through the gym doors the smell of hospital lingered throughout the enclosed area. Many of the students that would be donating blood felt either nervous or excited about saving someone’s life.

“I felt normal.” senior Ashley Kana said.

A week in advance SkillsUSA members held sign ups during lunch for both teachers and students to schedule their appointment time. They also hung up posters all over the school to help advertise their mission of saving lives. All the advertising or even the thought of saving a life, helped many students decided if they should or shouldn’t sign up for the blood drive.

Senior, Ashley Taylor who has donated eight times said, “It’s no harm to me, and it helps save others.”

While senior Lane Leaor said, “It is my duty [to donate blood]”

This years’ Spring Blood Drive had a total of 112 people come out and donate blood, which was two more people than the Fall Blood Drive. Out of all the people who came out to donate blood only 102 were actually able to donate their blood. The ten that weren’t able to donate was most likely because they had a low iron level or they didn’t meet one or more of the requirements.

Donating blood is safe although there might be some side effects. When donating blood passing out, dizziness, bruising where the blood was taken from, or even a sore arm may occur.

After donating for the first time, senior, Morgan Howell said, “I passed out, later [in the day I] found out I got a concussion.”

However side effects aren’t always the problem when donating blood. Sometimes it’s the person who draws the blood out of your arm.

“After I donated blood I felt terrible, they were not licensed phlebotomist.” Senior Promise Kowalski, said.

Many things can go wrong while giving blood like passing out or not having licensed phlebotomists taking blood out of your arm, but this year’s Spring Blood Drive was very successful. There was a total of 127 products collected, which will end up helping 381 lives.

“After donating blood I felt like a hero. Just knowing I could be saving someone’s life says enough.” senior Ashton Beale said.