For many years, Henry Vissers was a blood donor. Then one day, things turned around and he found himself in need of the gift of life.
“In January 2017, I had aortic value and aorta surgery, and there were complications from that,” he said. “I received about eight units of blood. I basically had an oil change. It certainly saved my life.”
Vissers had been a blood donor for many years. He was close to hitting the 50-donation mark with Canadian Blood Services and had also been giving blood before they took over the service.
After his surgery, he could no longer give blood, but his co-workers decided they would step in for him. Vissers is executive director of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, and 10 staff members from the federation and affiliated organizations got together and went in to donate blood. A few others, who couldn’t go in at that time, donated at a later clinic.
“It was a really nice gesture, and good for the whole system, too,” said Vissers. “A number of them have continued.”
Some first-time donors told him they were a little nervous, but now feel comfortable with the experience.
“It’s easy to do and very helpful to others,” said Vissers. “It only takes about an hour of your time. I donated just because it was something I could do to give back.
“It’s not something you think about much, but it’s there in an emergency. People don’t think about it every day, but the system works in the background.”
Canadian Blood Services is holding a clinic at the Best Western Glengarry:
Wednesday, Aug. 15: Noon – 3 p.m. and 5 – 8 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 16: Noon – 3 p.m. and 5 – 8 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 17: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
There are more than 500 appointments to fill.
Appointments can be booked by downloading the GiveBlood app or visiting the Canadian Blood Services website at https://blood.ca/en