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I just saved my neighbour's life

“I’m Donna Akodu, and I just saved my neighbour’s life”

Donna Akodu gives blood for the first time

In June and July, we saw almost 100,000 people signing up to be blood donors – almost twice as many as the same period last year. We asked one of them, Donna Akodu, about her first blood donation experience…

Donna made her first donation at Tooting Donor Centre. “I’ve been putting it off for a while, but today I finally took the plunge,” she said. “It’s something that you don’t know - until you’ve done it - what to expect.

“As a Christian, God says that we should love our neighbours as ourselves, and love and worship are more than just singing songs on a Sunday morning. If you can actively do something – be a part of a solution – you can actually help your neighbour, and that for me is love in action.”

“It was really easy”

She said, “The staff here are wonderful and made me feel at ease. You have to fill out some forms and do an initial test to make sure that you can give blood. But they just made me feel really comfortable.

“I found out that the nurse who was taking my blood is my neighbour – and that was amazing! She made me feel really comfortable, and do you know what? Before I knew it, it was actually over! It’s humbling because it’s a really simple thing. Why didn’t I do this sooner - it’s nothing to be scared of.

“If we can help our community in this way, by just giving a pint of blood (we) could potentially save someone’s life – a baby that might have cancer, or someone that’s got sickle cell anaemia. These are our people. This is our community. And we need to be family.”

Giving blood for the first time