It is 2 AM and the phone rings at the home of the Blood Coordinator for the Bikur Cholim of Boro Park. A desperate mother is on the line. Her daughter is at Maimonides Hospital and is bleeding internally. She needs a blood transfusion immediately. The mother wants to know if the blood is safe.
The coordinator assures the mother that she can rest easy. She tells the anxious mother that, fortunately, Bikur Cholim had a blood drive in Boro Park a few days ago where more than 100 units of blood were donated by the community. Furthermore, she tells the mother that the blood in the hospital’s blood bank has been stringently tested. The mother breathes a sigh of relief. Another issue is resolved and she can now focus on what the doctor is telling her.
It is now 7AM and a distraught woman calls to say that she needs blood and platelets for her son who is ר”ל in Sloan Kettering for chemotherapy. He will need blood and platelets every few days for at least a month, or longer.
The coordinator assures the woman that she will have “designated donors” at Sloan that afternoon and for the next few weeks as long as the blood is required. Another sigh of relief. A warm thank you. A burden off her shoulders.
These are true scenarios that frequently occur at Bikur Cholim of Boro Park. With the advent of the blood crisis of the 1980’s, the Rabbonim of Boro Park asked Bikur Cholim to begin a blood donor program so that the heimishe community could rest assured that if they needed a blood transfusion, the blood would be safe. For patients and family members, this gives them a little piece of mind when they are ר”ל dealing with a health crisis. One less thing to worry about.
Last year, Bikur Cholim of Boro Park conducted 45 blood drives in Boro Park, Flatbush, Crown Heights, Staten Island, Manhattan and Washington Heights, raising 5,300 pints of blood from the heimishe community. During the last 10 years, approximately 42,000 units of blood have been donated. All of this blood was directed towards the Blood Bank at Maimonides Medical Center.
In addition, Bikur Cholim sends designated donors to a vast array of hospitals in the New York region on behalf of patients who need blood for surgery, chemotherapy and other blood related problems. More than 200 such donors are sent each year by Bikur Cholim.
The heimishe community has been fabulous, giving their time and their blood at these blood drives. It is wonderful to see the exceptional efforts by both men and women who partake in the great mitzvah of saving a Jewish life. Just this past week, 233 people from Williamsburg came to the Continental Hall and rolled up their sleeves to help a fellow Yid. What a wonderful קידוש ה’!
יש קנה עולמו בשעה אחת. A person can achieve his עולם הבא in one instant. Giving the “gift of life” is one of those events that can enable an individual to achieve greater heights in a short span of time.
To donate blood, or request a designated donor, please call Bikur Cholim of Boro Park at 718.438.2020.
(YWN Desk – NYC)