Foundation appeals to Jamaicans to give blood

Foundation appeals to Jamaicans to give blood

Thursday, January 16, 2020

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THE 2020 I Have A Heart Foundation Blood Drive, which was conducted at the National Chest Hospital in Kingston last Saturday, has been extended up to Saturday of this week.

Interested individuals may donate blood at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) up to tomorrow and at the National Chest Hospital on Saturday.

Twenty-six-year-old Abi-Gaye Smythe, who is the founder of the organisation, suffers from arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia but will not let that deter her from improving the lives of those like her, one heart at a time.

At the blood drive last week Saturday, Smythe shared with the Jamaica Observer that she was grateful for the turnout and said that this year's blood drive was a step up from the first staging.

“It was a good turnout. Forty-two persons came and 37 got to donate. That's great! That's 37 additional units to the little that the Blood Bank has, and that's 111 lives we're saving. We're all heroes,” she said.

Phillip Whynn, who is a part of the team that organised the event, told the Observer: “Blood drive 2019 was an awesome experience. Donating blood towards this project has given a feeling of purpose and fulfilment. In this world where persons no longer care for each other, I want to be an agent of change and this is one such way I can.”

Roshay Whynn, who is a nurse at the UHWI, was also happy about being afforded the opportunity to help those in need.

“Winston Churchill once said, 'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give'. This is one of my philosophies in life, and so I had to donate to the many patients in need of blood. This one act of kindness has given me a sense of self-fulfilment. I may not have been able to help hundreds of persons, but my one pint saved three lives,” she said.

She then encouraged those who are able to donate to do so during the course of the week.

“It is a life-changing experience,” she affirmed.

— Shanae Stewart


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