You just woke up. Your eyes slowly flap-open and closed. Where am I? Who is the person kneeling over me? People are fanning you and you have a blanket on top of you. You are a victim of one of Coon Rapids’ seemingly safe volunteer services…The Blood Drive.
On the morning of October 26th, the American Red Cross staff came to Coon Rapids High School’s small gym to draw blood from students and staff. Each donation went toward saving three lives, assisting the world in an easy way. Volunteers from National Honor Society helped work the canteen, support patients, and escort students back to class, among other various tasks. Assorted ‘80s music comforted the workers and the donors. The goal for donations was 99 people. In the end, 73 people were able to produce a unit; 25 people were deferred and 8 couldn’t give enough blood in 20 minutes–That dang hemoglobin!
Since every person reacts to their blood being taken differently, it’s hard to predict what will happen to them and if they will be okay. Some things to make sure of before giving blood are getting enough sleep, eating iron-rich foods, and drinking a lot of water. While the process of drawing blood went smoothly for most patients, the aftermath did not go so smoothly for some. Multiple students left the gym feeling fine, but came back feeling faint. On the brighter side, after donating, patients received snacks and a juice to help their body begin making new blood cells.
Towards the end of the day, the Billy Joel was turned down and chairs were folded up. The energy of the room died down while the last remaining donors finished up. Saving lives really is an exhausting undertaking. One day the blood will go to someone who needs it, and they will wonder: I wonder what test they missed that day?