Salima, Malawi …There is little difference between people of different races, except the pigment of their skin. All humanity comes from a single background. Medical science has established the only difference is approximately 0.1%. However, because the skin is what is visible the difference seems more pronounced. That similarity is evident when a blood transfusion is needed in a hospital. Skin color is of no significance.
This circumstance occurred during the visit of the Malawi Project’s Board of Directors to the Salima District Hospital. A patient needed surgery quickly if he was going to survive a major infection requiring a leg amputation. The problem was no one with his blood type was available. The chances of his survival were dropping daily. They did not have the right blood to replace what would be lost in surgery.
“What blood type was needed?” The required blood type matched that of Rae Ann Messenger, a member of the Project 2018 Team. Without a moment’s hesitation, Rae Ann, a registered nurse, volunteered to give blood. The color of her skin made no difference when it came to saving the patient’s life. With help from Suzi Stephens RN and Medical Director for the Malawi Project, the contribution was completed.
Before leaving the hospital the staff took Rae Ann to the men’s ward where she had a chance to meet the patient who would soon receive her blood during surgery.
With the proper blood the patient was taken to surgery. It was successful, and he is on the road to recovery from the surgery
When you get right down to it, after you determine the blood type, and discount the pigment in one’s skin, we are all about the same.
Pictured is Rae Ann Messenger preparing to give blood, with Suzi Stephens, Medical Director giving assistance. In the second picture, Rae Ann meets the patient who will receive her life-saving blood.