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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February

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Monday Night Owls - 11 June 2018 - The man with the golden arm

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 965 Teacher
We read an article about 'the man with the golden arm' - James Harrison, whose blood contains a special antibody which has helped 2.4 million babies.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/05/12/for-six-decades-the-man-with-the-golden-arm-donated-blood-and-saved-2-4-million-babies/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e4658900965f

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/8f75968a-56c6-11e8-9889-07bcc1327f4b

Vocabulary Top 10:

eligible - able to be chosen for something : able to do or receive something

avert - to turn (your eyes, gaze, etc.) away or aside

guinea pig - a person or thing used for testing something

ampul - a small glass container used to hold a fluid that is injected into someone through a needle

transfusion - a medical treatment in which someone's blood is put into the body of another person

wryly - humorous in a clever and often ironic way

brush off - to treat (something) as not important : to refuse to deal with or talk about (something) in a serious way

unwavering - continuing in a strong and steady way : not changing or wavering

accolade - an award or an expression of praise

understatement - a statement that makes something seem smaller, less important, etc., than it really is


Do you know if this disease (HDN) is a problem in your country?
Have you ever donated blood?

Comments

  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 965 Teacher
    @aladdin is there a way I can embed the video? :/ :#
  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,715 mod
    I think you can only add video from youtube @NatashaT
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,849 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It can maybe sounds kind of a superstitious belief, but I think it works this way: doing good to other people does good to you too, and lengthen your life.

    This story was amazing and moving as well.

    This man went regularly to the blood donors center to have his blood taken and transfused to several pregnant mothers in danger of miscarriage.

    It didn't happen constantly for one, a few years or a decade: it happened regularly for more than sixty years.

    Could I imagine sticking to do something for up to sixty years ? Without ever thinking again about the decision I made ?

    No, I can't; neither can I when it comes to daily relatively trivial occupations, such as diets, exercise, studies, etc: let alone helping others.

    I mean, maybe during your twenties, thirties, even until your late forties, you can think to put yourself a bit aside, largely spending your time devoting to the needs of others.

    Even so, though, you need to be a very altruistic person: one who think the sense of life is devoting all your energies to the wellness of other unknown people.

    I think it takes something to sustain you so long though.

    Be it a religious faith, or a deep morality you have been brought up with.

    Perhaps it is just you who have built up your own philosophy, to which you make a point to stick, not to waste your tiny span on The Earth.

    Nevertheless, whatever your push, altruistic persons do exist... luckily to the rest of the world.

    But, wouldn't you think that a person who turned 80 and, who, at heart, would still offer his body to help avoid others' death, is more of a unique case than a rare event ?

    I think it is the case here.

    His example was just a sonour slap in the face of the greedy pharmaceutical companies, who skipped their task to provide affordable drugs based on the kind of antibodies needed to tackle the hemolytic disease of the newborn.

    He lay down on the donor chair, a serene smile spreading over his lips and lighting up his face: his pose slowly and involuntarily grew a silent reproachful benchmark.

    ' Look at what I'm still able to do, with my golden arm and my single lung '.

    His gaze averting the needle... for the 1173rd time... once again.


    BTW I hope 1173rd is rightly written, @NatashaT, isn't it ? ;)
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 965 Teacher
    @filauzio I think what made his story more amazing was the fact that even after doing this for the 1173rd time (yes, it's correctly written ;) ) he still couldn't look at what they were doing! That's an extra level of dedication - doing something you don't like so many times because you know other people will benefit from it.

    Hopefully his story will inspire many other people to do the same thing!
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,849 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, agree @NatashaT, hopefully it will do.

    It's amazing the way we immediately understand that we can't do without the others, the moment we have an accident or have to undergo a surgical intervention.

    These moments, we suddenly realize we all share this kind of magical liquid, which, given due time, is able to re-form itself.

    Unfortunately, though, we often need it straightaway in such large volumes, that our injured body can't but struggle a bit and eventually throw in the sponge.

    Then, what if we hadn't at disposal frozen sacks of donors' blood ?

    After all, I'm told it isn't so engaging a task, at least in my town.

    Once you have signed up as a voluntary blood donor, you are called over only whenever there's necessity, because the local hospital's supplies, for instance, are running out.

    Besides, If you are a public sector worker, you are allowed one day blood donation leave.
    Furthermore, though I'm not sure it's still working this way, the hospital staff used to pay you a little breakfast at the bar.

    It meant one cup of cappuccino ( hot milk, coffee, cacao powder topping ) and one croissant.... just to regain some energies.

    I'm not a blood donor: I can't say why; maybe it is just that in my subconscious I think my blood is just enough for me, not to spare further; perhaps it's more simply selfishness.

    Probably, it's just the thought of having a needle inserted in your arm, which restrains me, although I don't fear needles so much.

    Nonetheless, if they invented a blood-tap to insert once and for all, it would make it easier to many undecided people, I suppose.

    I surely wouldn't mind walking my town's street with a blood-tap on my arm, showing off: I could even turn it on to the advantage of some thirsty vampires passing by.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 965 Teacher
    edited June 2018
    @filauzio The cappuccino and croissant sound like a good incentive really - much better than the little packet of dry biscuits you get in Australia when you give blood!

    I'm surprised they only call you when their stocks are getting low though - in Australia they set up an automatic reminder system, so as soon as you are able to give blood again (I think every 3 months) they send you a message asking if you are able to come back.

    I'm not a blood donor either - I tend to feel faint (or actually faint) when I get blood tests, so they won't let me. I always joke that I don't have enough blood for me, let alone to share with others!

    The picture of the blood-tap is a little scary though - I think you should work out how to produce more blood, or it might be you who needs donations!
  • javierjavier Posts: 287 ✭✭
    I think that people can be very happy if they help others that if they only think of themselves
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