Saved By The Blood

No, I’m not going to write here about the doctrine of redemption. This is about ordinary blood. The kind of blood we often need after a surgery.

Do you take blood banks for granted?

This is the “quick” version of what it took to get blood for a 14-year-old Palawano girl named Miyan who needed a few units of O+ here on Palawan. Miyan’s mom was one of our daughter’s best friends, so she is like a bit like granddaughter to us.

How To Get Blood (or, Missionary Life)
The father hikes sick daughter on his back through the jungle for three hours, then rides a “tricycle” (motorcycle with a side car) for 45 minutes on a dirt road to reach the hospital

The hospital has no blood and isn’t allowed to maintain a blood bank

The father travels 5 hours by bus to another hospital which is allowed to maintain a blood bank. That hospital has no type O+

Bill and father arrive at Red Cross at 4:10 a.m.

Bill knocks

Bill knocks

Bill knocks louder

Bill knocks ceaselessly

An old woman who was sleeping on the blood extraction tables at the Red Cross wakes up

Blood is not ready to go

The next 50 minutes…

  • The woman has to find the papers (actually Bill had to show her which paper it was) and find the blood
  • She gets out two units, so Bill had to tell her the release was for three units)
  • She has to copy numbers from each blood bag into a log book, and goes go get her glasses after about ten minutes of struggling to read the numbers
  • She packs the ice chest (meticulously wrapping each blood bag and each ice block in old file folders, taping the ice chest closed, etc.)
  • She finishes the paperwork and gets Bill to sign the doctor’s request
  • Bill has to sign a log book
  • Bill pays and fills out a receipt (she has to ask Bill how much he had been told he was supposed to pay)
  • Bill pays $100 for processing fee for the three units of blood donated by volunteers
  • Bill leaves Red Cross at 5 a.m. with the blood

Bill drives the father to bus terminal

Father boards the bus 30 seconds before it leaves

Father takes blood to his daughter 8 hours by bus to the south

Bill gets home and back to bed at 5:15

Then later that morning, breakfast and church.

Just another Sunday!


About billdavisthoughts

From San Diego, CA. I've been a missionary and Bible translator in the Philippines for over 30 years and have travelled as a language learning consultant to 15 countries. I play piano and guitar. I write, read voraciously and love to work on word puzzles. Married for 35 years, we have two daughters and two grandchildren.
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