333 IWF members donated blood at the Sejong University Hospital

The Intl. We Love U Foundation carried out the “Blood Drive” for three days from Feb. 18 to 20 at the Sejong Hospital in Bucheon. This campaign was successful with the participation of 333 IWF members from Incheon and Bucheon.

The IWF members, who had donated blood individually, came to donate in group. It was because blood stock decreased rapidly in winter due to the vacation in schools and reserve troops, which were main source of the blood donation. Recently, people’s interest in blood donation decreased and the qualification of donors became strict, which made it more difficult to secure blood. The Sejong General Hospital, which has sisterhood relationship with the IWF, had been anxious about the lack of blood supply. The hospital is one of the best hospitals specializing in heart and blood vessel, so frequently patients need blood transfusion during operations.

Kim Gye-hwa, the Chief of Clinical Laboratory of Sejong General Hospital, gave thanks to the IWF members for their coming to the hospital to donate blood on weekdays, even taking a day’s holiday. She said, “Because there was no blood stock in the Blood Bank, we’ve been relying on designated blood donation (which means for a certain patient’s operation, his or her family, relatives, or friends donate blood). In an emergency, we very often asked hospital staff to donate blood. Today, many volunteers from the IWF participated in blood donation, so we are able to supply blood to patients without a hitch for some time.”

The IWF members said, “How anxious patients and their families would be, if operations are delayed because of the lack of blood! I’ve been encouraged at the thought that I can save a life.” A member, O Hae-jin (41, from Yonghyeon-dong, Nam-gu, Incheon), said, “My husband often donates blood. This time, I’m with many members, so I’ve screwed up my courage. Now I’m happy to be able to show a good example to my children.” The members said that they had taken good care of their health than usual in order to donate healthy blood. They wished to be able to pass the preliminary examination and donate their blood.

The procedure for blood donation was more rigid than we had expected. The members, who filled up the medical chart in the waiting room on the 7th floor, measured their blood pressure and were asked about their medical history and present condition. Only he who passed these was able to receive blood test in the blood drawing room on the 2nd floor. After the test, only he who turned out normal through hemoglobin check was able to donate blood. The members who couldn’t donate blood had to go back, feeling sorry. They said, “I will surely donate my blood next time after taking good care of my health.”

For the three days of blood drive, 127 IWF members, who passed all the examinations including blood test, donated their blood and offered blood donation certificates to the Sejong General Hospital. As the hospital performed 5 to 6 times of operations for heart disease a day, some of donated blood was supplied to the patients right away that day.

On 19th, the second day, IWF Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah and the board members visited the Sejong General Hospital to encourage the members. Chairwoman visited the waiting room on the 7th floor and the blood drawing room on the 2nd floor, and held the hands of the participants to encourage them and expressed her thanks, saying, “Your healthy blood will save many lives.” Park Yeong-gwan, the Director General of Sejong General Hospital, also thanked them, saying, “Blood donation is not different from organ donation. Today, too, we were in trouble because of the lack of blood type A, but you saved a life.”

After that, Director Park guided Chairwoman and her party to Vietnamese and Cambodian children with heart disease. Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah consoled the children and their mothers, and wished them health. The Sejong General Hospital performed free heart operations for 700 overseas children for over 20 years since 1989. Including the Intl. We Love U Foundation, several organizations join in this work. The blood donation certificates that the IWF members donated this time will be used very usefully for operations of our unfortunate neighbors and overseas children with heart disease.

An IWF member, Kim Jeong-suk (32, from Ganseok-dong, Namdong-gu, Incheon) who donated her blood this day, said, “When my father had an operation before, we needed much blood. At that time, the blood donation certificates were very useful. Today, I’m so happy to give my blood and my donation certificate to another person who needs it.” The IWF members, who had volunteered to help their neighbors through various activities, felt joy and a sense of pride again from “blood donation,” which enabled them to give their most precious thing to others.

* We appreciate the efforts of Cho Han-gyeong the Manager of Medical Support of Sejong General Hospital, who took care of members’ health, and to all people who supported the “Blood Drive” for three days.