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Sherrece's Story


Thanking My Anonymous Blood Donors

My name is Sherrece, and I am a Collections Nurse at the Palmerston North Donor Centre. I am also grateful every day for those blood donors who ensured I would be here to do this job today. I had a serious motorbike accident in 1985, where I severed the artery in my right leg. I was airlifted off of the farm where I had my accident and transferred to Tokoroa Hospital, and then, due to requiring surgery, was transported to Waikato Hospital. I don’t recall how low my haemoglobin (iron count) was, but I knew I felt very tired, looked very pale, and regularly the staff would check the amount of bleeding that had occurred by drawing around the outside of the bleed (I had a white sheet under my leg). That night I was whisked into surgery, after a tearful conversation with Mum back home in Palmerston North, and awoke to see the first of several units of blood going thru. I remember vividly asking “has this been checked for AIDS” (please take into account I was an 11 year old girl, AIDS and HIV was only just being talked about, and the budding nurse (me) was up on anything health and medical related), to be met with “of course”. To further allay my concerns, the Director of Nursing came down the next day to explain to me about the testing that was involved, and that we were one of the few countries in the world which had begun testing for HIV as a result. I often think of all those A+ donors who had a hand in saving my life, and I am forever grateful. I worked in Orthopaedics and ICU prior to coming to work for NZBS, and I have given countless blood and blood products during those years, and together with this, and my own experience, I find myself sharing these details with donors on a regular basis. Have found it helps allay those initial fears about needles.