When Strangers Care Enough to Give

Michelle had been on duty the night we first arrived at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital with our extremely leukemic four-year-old. Her kindness, patience and caring over the first few days of our new life was comforting and reassuring in those stressful days of learning about our new life.

One day, after a few weeks of undergoing chemotherapy, Andrew’s treatment protocol called for platelets—around 11 o’clock they had told us. We waited, and waited, and waited some more.

Michelle informed us that although Andrew had been scheduled to receive them, sometimes scheduling didn’t do any good, as there were no platelets available. Michelle casually mentioned, “Yeah, that happens way too often. That’s why I’m going after work tonight to donate.”

“How do you donate platelets?” I naively asked, “Don’t they just take them out of the blood?”

“No,” Michelle launched into the technical issues regarding the harvesting of platelets, which involves a generous time commitment for donors.

“And you donate?” I asked.

“Yes, every few weeks,” she responded, “platelets are always in demand here on our ward.”

Working long shifts with childhood cancer victims. Leaving work to sit in a chair and donate platelets. Caring beyond the job description.

I think there are no words strong enough to thank the caregivers out there who help make lives better, let alone save them. (tweet this)

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  • She sounds like an amazing woman. What a beautiful story – I’m so glad you shared, and so thankful she cared.

    blessings from a 5mf neighbor.
    richelle @ our wright-ing pad recently posted…walK with THE Wise ~ O be careful… ~My Profile

  • This post makes me both happy and sad, because I was a platelet donor for many, many years until suddenly, I was no longer allowed – simply because I had been pregnant without knowing (ever… the pregnancy apparently didn’t last long enough for me to even realize it).

    I’m thankful that you were able to encounter someone who was both willing and able to donate. I hope that someday, I will be allowed to again so more patients like Andrew aren’t forced to wait for such a simple thing.

    Blessings to you,
    Melissa
    Melissa recently posted…Five Minute Friday: CareMy Profile

    • Thank you Melissa. I cannot donate blood either, which always makes me sad as I would donate as often as possible if I could. But I lived in Europe at the wrong time. I wish it were easier to be a donor! 🙂 Thank you for caring.
      Carol recently posted…When Strangers Care Enough to GiveMy Profile

  • barbara gibson

    What is a Hero…that person known or unknown who comes into your life during the drama,and stays …the grandchild who brings you orange juice during a chemo visit…the helpful woman in the parking lot,who helps you stuff a wheelchair and groceries into the trunk in the rain…the quiet thoughtful stranger who just pats your arm as your tears flow in the dark waiting room…it is all the little things that take you through the “every day” the one’s who open doors or see you with a shaky smile, three children in tow,and splurge for an extra cup of coffee in the middle of the night