Liquid Love to Save a Life – B.A.B.A: St.Louis, MO
“Love All, Serve All! Help Ever, Hurt Never!” Sathya Sai Baba said selfless love is our own inherent nature 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 St. Louis on July 1-3 2020 in the form of a community blood drive, organized by Mercy Hospital and shared with St. Louis Sathya Sai Center by one of 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. He shared, “I wanted to do something to help the situation. Swami answered my prayer that very same week through an email sent by my hospital blood bank. The email stated that they had a critical need for all Rh-negative blood, particularly O-negative. I felt it was Swami’s call! I realized, however, that the logistics of conducting an independent blood drive amidst a pandemic posed too many challenges. When I approached my hospital’s blood bank team and expressed my interest in coordinating a blood drive, they asked for a name to identify the drive online, so that donors could make appointments. Without hesitation, I named it BABA - Be A donor, Be A Hero.”
Inspired by innate love, seven volunteers came forward to donate blood, while adhering to the social distancing guidelines of the COVID-19 crisis. Among the donors, two of them presented with the rare blood type of O-negative. It was indeed Swami’s 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 donors commented, “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 has donated blood in India, this happened to be the first time he gave blood in the USA. He was moved by the critical shortage of blood to come forward and added, “We all need to give our best during this difficult situation.”
Yet another Sai Center member said, “I am thankful to Swami for this service opportunity that He has given me during this Guru Poornima week. As a health care provider, I have ordered blood transfusions several times for treating anemia in dialysis patients and I understand the difference blood makes in the quality of life of my patients.”
Liquid love flowed from seven donors in the form of 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.