Vũ Mạnh Linh (in red shirt, first on the left) talks to volunteers about blood donation activities. VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Lành
HÀ NỘI — Vũ Mạnh Linh, a 32-year-old youth union leader from Nam Định City, donates blood every four months to support his community.
Linh said the first time he registered for blood donation was 10 years ago when he was a student at Nam Định College of Industry and Textiles.
Back then when he knew less about donating blood, he was afraid doing so would affect his health, work and even daily life. However, he still did it as he knew how much it would help someone in need.
His perception quickly changed after talking with staff from the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion and Nam Định Province’s Red Cross. He learned that blood donation wouldn't harm his health but would save other's lives.
Linh has so far donated blood 27 times but one donation, in particular, stands out in his memory.
The incident occurred five years after he had graduated.
“At 9pm that night, I received a phone call from a doctor working at Nam Định General Hospital informing that there was a critical illness requiring blood type B++ for an urgent transfusion. Without hesitation, I went to the hospital for blood donation although I didn't know who the recipient was and where he came from,” Linh recalled.
Later he felt glad after being told the patient had recovered thanks to the timely blood transfusion.
“This was the most unforgettable memory and also motivation for me to continue my good deeds,” Linh said.
Through that story, he understood many people faced high risk if they do not receive blood transfusions while blood reserves in hospitals do not always meet demand, especially rare blood types.
A year later, with the consent from Nam Định General Hospital, Linh set up the Live Blood Bank club, which has had 80 members at times.
Today, it has more than 20 members, mainly students.
Besides acting as a head of Thống Nhất Ward’s Youth Union, he has also joined the provincial Red Cross.
To encourage more people to donate blood, Linh and other volunteers have launched publicity campaigns and put leaflets in public spaces like parks, bus stations and markets to raise people’s awareness of the issue.
They also post articles and information on blood donation activities on social media to get people better informed.
As a result, the quantity of blood collected has leapt remarkable from 20-40 units to more than 100 units at each event over the past five years.
Apart from blood donation, Linh has also volunteered to register for platelet donation. According to him, platelet donation is different from giving a whole blood donation. Blood donors can only give every three months, while it takes only 10 days for platelet donors to recover. The demand for platelets is high and platelet deficiency is a problem at hospitals.
Nguyễn Văn Thanh, a local youth union member, said Linh was an exemplary blood donor and was always one of the first to help in any blood donation campaign.
“No matter what time, circumstance, whenever he hears about a patient who needs blood, he is always ready. He is a big motivation for young people like us.
“Following his example, I have donated many times,” he said.
Nguyễn Thị Hương Quế, head of Hematology and Blood Transfusion department at Nam Đinh General Hospital, said the Live Blood Bank Club operates very effectively, helping the hospital be proactive in finding blood for patients who need it.
With his dedication, Linh was among 100 frequent blood donors honoured for their outstanding humanitarian efforts in 2018.
He also received merit certificates from the Ministry of Health and National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion.
However, he's still humble when talking about his humanitarian work.
“Compared to other donors who have donated blood up to 60-70 times, my achievement is very small.”
In the future, he said he wanted to encourage more people to donate blood.
As for himself, Linh isn't stopping at donating blood 27 times
“Once I am healthy enough, I will continue to donate. “ — VNS