Blood Bank benefits from Red Stripe’s blood drive
‘Not all heroes wear capes’ is a popular phrase that rings true for 37-year-old Daine Winkle, a consistent blood donor for the last 19 years. After going through a traumatic experience with his family as a teenager, he makes it his duty to contribute to the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) twice per year.
“When I was 17-years-old, my mom had complications when she was giving birth to my sister. She needed blood to do the operation, but there was no blood at the Blood Bank. The whole situation made me nervous, but thankfully, my mom and sister made it out alright and healthy. Since then, I made a commitment to give blood to prevent someone going through what we went through. If I can help someone, then I am happy,” Winkle said.
Winkle works in yeast and chemical management in Red Stripe’s brewing department, but takes time out of his busy schedule to support the beer company’s annual blood drive. For the last 10 years, Red Stripe has partnered with the NBTS to help recruit donors as they strive to meet the demands of the health sector. At this year’s event, the top corporate donor provided 75 units.
“Employees know that the blood they donate today can be a lifesaver tomorrow, so they will come out to support the cause,” said Veronica Benain, Red Stripe’s occupational health adviser. “Our employees come out in scores, as they remain committed to make this contribution to society.”
The NBTS supplies blood to hospitals across the island for things like surgeries, treating injuries and bleeding disorders. There are also byproducts of blood, such as plasma and platelets that hospitals need for various treatments.
“There are many patients with various illnesses who have to undergo surgery daily, whether scheduled or through an emergency. This is why we always have to ensure we have an adequate supply of the various types of blood. The shelf life of blood is 35 days, so it is crucial that we constantly replenish our stock,” said Keishawna Pinnock, assistant blood donor organiser at the NBTS.
Thirty-six-year-old Nickette Morgan-Williams is a beneficiary of the NBTS through Red Stripe’s donations. In January of this year, the senior business analyst for the company’s supply chain gave birth to a son. However, her joy quickly turned into worry when she learnt that he had a blocked intestine and had to go into surgery immediately after he was born.
“The first surgery was not successful, so he had to do another. He got infections and experienced other complications and needed a blood transfusion. I reached out to Red Stripe and the team showed up brilliantly and supported my family by donating blood. In all, my son had seven transfusions,” she said.
“Throughout the process, my greatest concern was that there was not enough blood because my son has a rare blood type. For one of the transfusions, we had to wait two days for the Blood Bank to get stock of that blood type so my son could do surgery,” explained Morgan-Williams.