I’d always meant to give blood. It was just one of those things that I never got round to, like sorting out the boot of my car. But this time, I decided I was going to stop putting it off, and just get it done.
It started very easily. I went on to the NHS Blood and Transplant website, answered a few basic health questions, picked a time and location and my appointment was all booked. Over the next few days, I received a couple of texts to make sure that I had plenty to eat and drink on the day, and on the morning of the appointment, I received my reminder.
I went along to my session, and met with some of the amazing staff. After getting a glass of squash and filling out a quick health form, a nurse sat down with me and went through my form with me, checking I was happy with everything and asking if I felt nervous. I told her that I was a little bit, and she said that there was nothing at all to worry about. Turns out she was right.
Once I had got the all clear, we went out to the chairs where they would take the donation. A quick alcohol swab and a small scratch, and the needle was in. I barely even noticed it. The nurse checked that everything was working, and then left me to it.
I hardly had time to think about it before I was done. The nurse came over to tell me I was finished, and before I knew it, the needle was out, the bandage was on and I was having another glass of squash and a free biscuit.
For me, giving blood for the first time was the simplest thing in the world, but even if it wasn’t, I would still go back. A few days after my appointment I received a text, telling me that my donation is ready to help a patient. Yes needles are scary, and yes it’s not always convenient to go, but all I can think now is that for half an hour of my time someone might live. And that is one of the best feelings in the world.