Wednesday, July 15, 2009

giving blood

I have never given blood before. I've always had good excuses.

"I don't weigh enough." (high school)
"I'm mildly anemic." (college)
My recent ones have been:
"I'm scared I'll faint."
"There's enough people who donate. They don't need me."

But then something happened a couple weeks ago that has shaken me up a bit. There is a dear, dear family who go to our church. I'll call them the Kay's. Dad, mom, 3 sons. Life has been pretty hard lately. They had a house fire a couple years ago. The dad lost his job and has been unemployed and looking for a very long time. And two weeks ago this happened:

Their middle soon, Jacob (17 years old), was at the beach with some friends. They heard a crash and ran over to see downed trees and power lines in the trees across the road. Jacob (who wants to be a firefighter when he grows up) attempted to put out a small fire on part of a tree. His friends heard something they describe as an explosion and what was like fire coursing down his whole body. Apparently, he came into contact with the the fallen power line. He suffered a concussion and severe electrocution, causing burn spots on his head, neck, hands, arms, chest, feet, and backside, mostly 2nd and 3rd degree burns. He was taken to the hospital, where the doctors told his parents that it was a miracle he was alive.

Since then, he has been in a paralytic/narcotic coma, had three or four surgeries to remove dead muscle tissue, battled pneumonia, and has had a hard time breathing on his own. All of us who heard the news were shocked and scared. Everyone has been praying like crazy for Jacob and his family. And even though prayer is the most important thing right now, I was starting to feel helpless. How could I help more?

The Kays have started a blog where they share updates on Jake and what we can do to help. One of ideas was donate blood in Jacob's name. I remember reading that and being convicted. I've never done it, but it is time.

I'm scared. It probably seems so silly, but I am. I've had shots before, had blood drawn, etc. But the thought of sitting down for 10-15 minutes and watching blood leaving my body and filling up a big ol' bag making me a little nauseous.

And yet, who cares? It seems so small compared to what Jacob and his family are going through.

Obviously, my blood won't be going to Jacob. But since they are using lots of blood on him, it's a cool way to give back to the American Red Cross. And this is something tangible we (many of my college students and co-workers are doing this, too) can do during this scary time.

I was hesitant to blog about this, because I didn't want to come across as "Hey, look at me, I'm giving blood, I'm so great" because that is definitely not the case. This has nothing to do with me and everything to do with a high school boy who is fighting for his life and his family who I love so much. It hurts seeing them in so much pain.

So friends, on July 30th, I'll be rolling up my sleeves. Nervous? Yes. Worth it? Abso-freakin-lutely. BTW, If you want to read the Kays' family blog, let me know and I'll email you the address.


NixonsMamma said...

This is such a good reminder that there are ways to help others out... even if it's scary to us!

My trick... turn my head and hum LOUDLY!

What a blessing, Sarah!
Saying a little prayer for "The Kays" right now!

Jody said...

Good job, Sarah.

Emily said...

1. Don't look at the bag or the needle. Take your iPod and a book or a magazine to keep yourself occupied.

2. Expect some discomfort. It isn't exactly painful, but it is not comfortable, either. Getting a shot hurts worse, though.

3. After you are done, eat the snack they give you. Drink the drink they give you. Sit down and let the food settle for about 15 minutes before you leave.

4. Email me the address for the Kays' blog.

5. Good for you for biting the bullet and giving blood. It really does make a difference. Matt donates several times a year. I have such low blood pressure that I've been declined the last 3 times I've tried to donate.

6. Wear the t-shirt they give you with pride! =)

Amanda said...

It's great that you're donating blood in the name of the young man that was hurt. I've only donated a couple of times, I always get scared at first but I know it's the rigt thing to do. Please email me the blog address. I'll pray for this family.

Smarshie said...

Turn my head, don't look at the blood, and bring my iPod. All good ideas!

What's your email address, Amanda, so I can send you the blog address?