A flyer outside the blood donation area asks donors to get their temperatures taken before entering, a sign of the times. No crowds, no noise and everyone is observing COVID-19 guidelines. The building is quiet and peaceful, guaranteeing the privacy and tranquility of all who enter. For a Red Cross region that has had about one blood drive per month, it’s an important day.

We meet John Proctor while he’s still laying on the bed and a blood donor technician is placing a dressing on his left arm. The Deer Park resident is happy with the experience, saying “Everything went very smooth. It’s a needle prick, no pain at all. People are very pleasant; they explain everything step by step from the check-in until getting your turn on the table.”  

John, a Red Cross volunteer, is a yearly donor and this time he found yet another opportunity to fulfill his duty. “I looked for a blood drive online and this one popped up,” he explains. “I tried three times before, but events were getting cancelled due to COVID.” His persistence paid off, though, and he was able to donate plasma. This option takes longer but benefits more sick people in hospitals.

John has never experienced secondary effects after donating blood. He doesn’t feel lightheaded or nauseous and he can always carry on with his day after giving the gift of life. 

As for his motivation to donate blood, he acknowledges the enormous need for it in our area and recognizes the importance of donations. He sums it up, saying “Either be it blood or time, if you find a need, fill it.”

Written by Marco Bracamontes, edited by Mary Jane Mudd. Photos: Marco Bracamontes