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Personal experience: one morning from donor’s life

20th of April – National Blood Donor Day. We thank and congratulate all donors in Russia for their willingness to donate blood for patients in need of a transplant. Many donor’s events are held and of course many people donate blood on this day. We often ask donors in our interview about the donation procedure, what they feel, what they scare, what it means for them. Story about from Yegor Tischins’s life will help to answer these questions.

Many superhero fans are united by the idea or the desire to look alike their heroes in some way and save universe. Imagine: someone does it. It is about those who once find out: nature has deprived us of superhero abilities, but not superhero qualities: kindness, nobility and a sense of justice. They make an ordinary person able to save lives.

When subway doesn't upset

Train is coming to the platform, doors are opening and crowd is at one time entering the carriage. Lucky ones catch to pre-empt seats and continue watching dreams. Other ones, energized enough by the underground are entertaining themselves by reading or listening music.

29-year-old Yegor is more than optimistic. He hurries to the transfusion department of the Moscow General hospital named after AK Eramishantsev. Nothing urgent. This morning, the young honorary donor of Moscow decided, as usual, to start with a noble work. And I, having decided to keep him a company, try to distract myself from gray thoughts. Quite often I see on the Yegor social pages’ posts about donorship.

- "Donated the blood - saved the life!", says Yegor exiting the subway. This slogan he already by right considers his own. At the blood transfusion station, he goes with the desire to help those who need it.

“How much is it in buckets?”

Hospital department is on the first floor. To make noble impulse of blood donation helpful, donors should come here regularly. Today is the day when Yegor should be in department.

The cloakroom attendant greets us at the entrance. Yegor is accepted here for a long time as a relative. First donation he made being a student. And more than six years he does not change this habit: several times a year donates blood for free.

Wearing shoe covers received at the entrance, we are coming to the registration desk, already with a line.

- There are many donors here in the morning hours, - says Yegor, and I finally understand the reason of early rise and hurry: to be in time for the opening and as quickly as possible to donate blood - after all, my friend will come back to work, although, by law, has the right for a day off.

Receiving a form at the registration desk of the donor, Yegor accepts congratulations from the administrator: it turns out that he has today an anniversary - the twenty-fifth donation. My friend smiles. It inspires him a day started on the top will pass smoothly, according to the script.

– How much blood have you donated already? – I am asking

– Ask better, how many buckets? remark from the line

The donors become fun.

There are a lot of questions in a form: what medicines have been taken recently, what kind of disease the donor had, drinking alcohol, contacts with HIV-infected people and other issues. While Yegor filling the form, I make calculations using phone: 24 blood donations multiplied by a standard dose of 450 milliliters give in the end ... Wow! Almost 11 liters! Bucket!

What is the donor afraid of?

After filling the form, standard procedures are needed to be passed by donors before blood donation. First Yegor is examined by a therapist. The doctors check the blood pressure and pulse, then fill in the appropriate data into computer and send Yegor to the next room - the clinical laboratory - to check the hemoglobin. This moment my friend becomes nervous, and not because of cut finger.

– I know, it's usual procedure – Yegor explaines. I notice, his throat is dry. If the norm of hemoglobin does not meet the criteria, the game is over: I am not allowed to donate.

- Did it happen before?

- Not once. It's a pity: I ask for leave at work, but doctors refused. On the other hand - this hospital would not be such outstanding and popular. As you may see there are many people here.

Encouraged by himself, Yegor hides behind the door. I am waiting for a moment and see him again. He is happy now, eyes are shining.

Because the hemoglobin is fine!

We check the form again with the therapist for marks, and ready to donate.

It is not an apple juice!

– Now it is time for most pleasant part! – Yegor notices. And I am ready to make a picture, but he leads down to cafeteria.

- I had poor breakfast, and dinner. So, I am starving. – he says.

We got sweet tea and biscuits. – usual food for donors. And we seat together, having lunch. Yegor has a sweet tooth, but as I may see, hardly feel the taste now. He is nervous before procedure.

If you are afraid of needle – you can't be a donor!

In the last room, which is called "blood sampling cabinet" by donors and some doctors, I manage to get into. There are several chairs here. Yegor without a fear lays down on one of them. A paramedic in a gown, with gloves and mask prepares him for the last and most important procedure.

-It is his 25th procedure. Please be gentle – I am telling to the doctor and going to make a picture of Yegor for the history.

As a joke, I ask whether Yegor's blood saved someone? Although we understand: there can be no jokes in this case. The nurse confirms: there are many blood needed cases in a life.

A special tourniquet is put on Yegor’s shoulder, the skin on the hand is disinfected. A doctor who, as it turns out during the conversation, has been working in the hospital for several years, encourages the patient:

"He remembers how I trained on him when he was just starting donarship." I was worried all the time: I was afraid to inject wrong. Now neither he nor I have anything to fear.

The procedure takes about seven minutes. After five more Yegor takes rest.

The time goes by, and we are leaving. We say goodbye to doctors, who are busy with next donors, pass by pay office and exit hospital. The friendly cloakroom attendant sends a wish for a good day.

No need to be a hero, just do what you should.

- Well, do you feel like a superhero? Look, how staff treated you today.

"Well, if I was one, I probably would." But who needs this? We are just people. We are capable of actions, "Yegor said half-jokingly.

- I was taught from childhood that even the little help to my neighbor is very important. To transfer an old woman across the road or to give place in transport is like nothing, but it causes respect. With the guys at school we could always buy a pack of sausages for a stray dog. After all, if you helped someone, you are a person. It's more important than being a superhero.

- What about your friends?

– They are used to it, – Yegor is smiling.

We enter the subway. Yegor hurries, so quickly melts into the crowd. I seat into the carriage, trying to guess by the faces what today may be for them, starting in the Moscow subway. At least four are smiling. But they cannot compete the one Yegor has had today - an ordinary guy, an honorable donor, a man saving lives.

Andrey Latyntsev

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