Lost blood can be replaced only by blood itself. That is why people who have lost quantities of blood have to have such loss replaced by transfusions. Hospitals and the Red Cross ask people (those above 21 years of age) to donate part of their blood for those in need of transfusions. It is one of the most unselfish gestures that anyone can make for his fellow men.
In the following selection (reported by a physician) a little boy makes a difficult decision. Read to find out something about the character of the boy through an act of decision during a crucial moment:
Eight-year-old Johnny was very serious when I called him into my office at the hospital and explained how he could save his little sister’s life. Mary, aged six, was near death–victim of a disease from which Johnny had made a miraculous recovery only two years earlier. Now Mary’s only chance was a blood transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the illness. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, Johnny would be the ideal donor.
“Johnny,” I said, “would you like to give your blood for Mary?”
He hesitated a moment, his lower lip trembling, but I had seen many people older than Johnny who were a little frightened by the idea of giving blood, so I thought no more about it. Then he smiled and said, “Sure, Dr. Morris. I’ll give my blood for my sister.”
The operating room was prepared and the children wheeled in–Mary, pale and thin; Johnny robust and almost cherubic. Neither spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned broadly.
As Johnny’s blood siphoned into Mary’s veins, her pale skin began to turn pink. There was complete silence as the operation proceeded. But Johnny spoke in a brave little voice I will never forget.
“Say, Dr. Morris,” he said, “when do I die?”
It was only then that I realized what that moment’s lip trembling had meant when I had talked to Johnny in my office.
He thought that giving up his blood for his sister meant giving up his life! In that brief moment he had made his great decision.