These are people from all walks of life who have contributed to the security and growth of the nation in extraordinary ways – quietly, proudly, humbly. For some of them, their contributions come in the form of blood donations. Because each packet of blood can save up to 3 lives, tens of thousands of patients are able to lead regular, healthy lives.
This series of stress-balls celebrates the ordinary people in our community who perform the extraordinary every day by donating blood and in doing so, contribute to the nation's growth.
Find out how each character is a Singapore Hero in his/her own way!
Mr. Construction Worker
When he's not building skyscrapers or putting the finishing touches on our newest MRT station, this construction-worker-cum-blood-donor keeps an eye out for the next blood drive near him. Mobilising his colleagues when he sees one, this 20-time donor finds great satisfaction in safeguarding his second home through blood donation. “Rain or shine, being able to donate blood regularly is as important and rewarding to me as working on the latest building project. It’s my great pleasure to be able save lives!”
He is on standby 24/7, ever-ready to serve the community, both as a policeman and as a blood donor. With his passion for service, our policeman enforces law and order in the community while keeping a close eye on our nation's blood stock. "My job as a policeman means I have to be alert to what's happening in the community, but when the call to donate blood comes, I make sure to do so at the nearest blood bank once I'm off duty. As a citizen, it's my duty to save lives through blood donation, too!"
Ms. Office Lady
Spending her time from 9am to 6pm working in a tiny cubicle, this blood donor office worker feels enormous excitement whenever there is a blood drive in her company vicinity. "I sit in front of the computer working all day every day, but whenever I discover there is a blood drive nearby showing up on redcross.sg, I would literally jump up from my little cubicle and make my way there immediately. Nothing adds zest to a white collar job than saving lives!"
Mr. National Serviceman
"Knocking it down" daily during his BMT days, the young soldier knows his passion for saving lives cannot be toppled or knocked over. "Once, after we booked out, we chiong-ed straight to the blood bank after seeing the Red Cross calling for all blood types. "I feel it is also our duty as young Singaporeans to help save lives for the patients-in-need! DONATE BLOOD LOH!"
He knows every nook and cranny of the roads across Singapore, he knows where is the nearest hawker centre without peering into the GPS. But above all, he knows the way to every blood bank by heart. "Watching the blood bag fill up each time I donate blood is more satisfying than watching my taxi meter jump every few seconds." This taxi driver knows his way in driving to become a regular life saver.
He whips up plates of delicious char kway tiao in a flash. This blood donor hawker saves lives and feeds hungry stomachs while managing snaking queues dozens of metres long. Despite his long hours every day at the hawker centre, he still makes time once in 3 months to donate blood. "Mr char kway tiao is the most famous stall in Singapore, but all that fame and attention is nothing compared to the satisfaction of saving lives! Huat ah!" quips the chirpy hawker.
"One blood donation can save up to three lives" - this could be the phrase most commonly heard about blood donation.
And for Lim Cheng Hui, a blood donor who is also a nurse with Tan Tock Seng Hospital, she finally understood what it means when she witnessed how blood donation managed to save the life of a patient she knew.
"There was a patient who was transferred from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital to my intensive care unit, and she required urgent plasmapheresis," recalled Cheng Hui.
The patient was diagnosed with Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a rare blood disorder. Her condition was life-threatening, and Cheng Hui knew the patient would require multiple packs of plasma in order to save her.
Within two hours from the arrival time of the patient, the team of doctors and nurses initiated the plasma exchange by a trained plasmapheresis nurse. Approximately 20 packets of plasma were used. The whole procedure took around six hours to complete, not including the interruption they had when we needed to get the plasma supply.
"I was thankful that my patient tolerated the procedure relatively well, and I realise the importance of blood donation. I have donated blood 6 times, and I can’t emphasise enough that without the donated blood, the patient might not have survived, let alone perform rescue operations," added Cheng Hui.
Every hour of the day, 15 units of blood are used in Singapore. More than 100,000 units of blood are needed to meet the transfusion needs of patients every year, equivalent to more than 400 units of blood a day. You too can make a difference and help patients in need. Learn more about blood donation here.