Liquid Love to Save a Life – Blood Drive: St. Louis, MO
“Love All, Serve All! Help Ever, Hurt Never!” Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that our inherent nature is selfless love, and life should be a stream of selfless loving sacrifices. He has shown us by example how to offer selfless service without any expectation in return. The opportunity for selfless service became available in the form of a community blood drive, organized by Mercy Hospital on July 1- 3, 2020, and shared with the Sri Sathya Sai Center of St. Louis, MO, by one of the its members who works as a physician in Mercy Hospital.
Dr. Bhaskar Gadi became aware of the acute shortage of blood when his elderly cancer patient’s blood transfusion got delayed. He realized the severe impact of the more than 400 canceled blood drives in the community, 60% of which were within the St. Louis area. There was a serious shortage of all Rh-negative blood, and in particular, O-negative. The hospital blood bank sent an urgent email out to its staff. Dr. Gadi responded to the call. He expressed his interest in coordinating a blood drive, fully aware of the challenges of conducting a blood drive amidst a pandemic. The blood bank team requested a name to identify the drive online, for donors to make appointments. Without hesitation, he named the blood drive BABA- Be A donor, Be A hero.
Inspired by innate love, seven volunteers came forward and donated blood while adhering to the social distancing guidelines of the COVID-19 crisis. Among the donors, two presented with the rare blood type of O-negative. It was indeed a miracle to get this rare blood type, twice in a row during any blood drive! The Mercy blood bank team was thankful to the donors for coming forward during the hour of need.
One of the Sai Center members shared, “When the call came to donate blood, I responded without hesitation. In the past, I was ineligible to donate because of my travels to India. But this time, I was blessed to be given an opportunity to help in a small way!”
Another Sai Center member remarked that even though he had previously donated blood in India, this happened to be the first time he gave blood in USA. He was moved by the critical shortage of blood to come forward and added, “We all need to give our best during a difficult situation.”
Yet another Sai Center member stated “I am thankful for this blood donation opportunity, and that, too, during Guru Poornima1 week this year. As a health care provider, I have ordered blood transfusions several times for treating anemia in dialysis patients and understand the difference blood makes in the quality of life of my patients.”
Liquid love flowed from the seven donors in the form of liquid blood. Even though a few others came forward eagerly to donate, they were deemed ineligible for various health reasons. However, their willingness to part with their life-sustaining blood, is no less selfless than the deed. The empathy and love permeating in their selfless thoughts and deeds are expressions of divinity.
1Guru Poornima is celebrated as a day dedicated to the Guru (spiritual teacher). It is a day dedicated to a) remembering the Guru with gratitude, b) reflecting on the Guru’s teachings and c) resolving to put His teachings into daily practice.