I gave a part of myself to save a life

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Ashwini Kumar Kulkarni

One afternoon, in December 2011, I received a call from a friends’ brother, who lives in Hyderabad (~35 Kms from my house). His only son, 5 years old then, was in hospital suffering from dengue. His platelets count was diminishing day by day and, when it reached 30,000, the doctors asked Sanjay to arrange for a platelet donor. Not able to find donors, he then called me asking if any of my friends could help. He was looking for A+ve blood group. This being my blood group as well, I immediately volunteered.

It was midnight by the time he picked me up from my house we drove ~35 Kms to his place. That day, the child’s platelet count was as low as 10,000. My blood test was done and fortunately I had a good count of platelets: 4,00,000. Larger the count, lesser the time it takes to extract the platelets. There was an extraction machine which draws the blood out through one tube, extracts the platelets, and puts the blood back in the body through another tube. This was completed in 30 minutes. I donated 90,000 counts of platelets and he dropped me back home at 6 am.

45,000 counts were given to the child the same day and another 45000 the following day. Over a period of four to five days the counts stabilized and the child was discharged.

To me, this was a great experience. I could actually save a life by giving a part of myself.