TANGKAK, Sept 30 (Sin Chew Daily) — For retired teacher Lee Day Yen whose blood type is O negative, donating blood is a difficult task.
Her blood group is considered rare and her wish to donate blood is often rejected.
Lee, 64, who was a Tangkak Secondary School teacher, said in an interview with Sin Chew Daily that unlike others, she was unable to walk into a hospital to donate blood.
Lee is often rejected by medical staff on the ground that her blood group is rare and to avoid wastage, she is only allowed to donate when someone really needs type O negative blood.
Lee recalled her first experience of going for a blood donation drive with friends 35 years ago to donate for the first time.
Medical personnel told her that O negative was considered a rare type of blood group and the hospital would only seek help when a patient of similar blood group needed blood transfusion during an operation.
Lee said she was not sure if it was good news for her.
She was mentally prepared to receive calls from hospital to donate blood any time.
There was once she was contacted by the hospital to donate blood while teaching at school. She was disappointed to be informed upon arriving at the hospital later that someone had already donated blood.
On another occasion, she received a call from Tangkok Hospital informing her that a hospital in northern Malaysia needed O negative blood for emergency and told her to donate at Tangkak Hospital at 2pm the same day.
“I received a call at noon that day from the blood bank of Tangkak Hospital informing me that the hospital in northern Malaysia had collected sufficient amount of blood for O negative and thanked me for my kindness.
“It was like a pail of cold water pouring on my head. I did not get to donate again,” she said.
Unlike her, Lee’s husband, also a retired teacher, is a regular blood donor of 28 times since he donated blood for the first time in January 1986.