A-V technician Peter Corps with colleagues who donated blood, l-r: Ivana Filipovic, Robert Hetzler, Lorraine Algera, Kathryn Alexander, Michael Roberts

Don't wait to donate

October 16, 2008

Document Tools

Print This Article

E-mail This Page

Font Size
S      M      L      XL

Related Links

By Barry Shell

A couple of weeks after a routine colonoscopy in July 2007, SFU audio-visual technician Peter Corps began passing blood whenever he sat on the toilet. By the time an ambulance brought him to Lion’s Gate Hospital’s emergency room a few days later, he had lost so much blood the nurses couldn’t find a vein big enough for an IV needle.

Taking charge, the emergency room doctor said to Corps: "OK, we don’t have time for a local anesthetic to kick in. Bite down on this facecloth. I’m going to make an incision in your thigh to find your femoral vein so we can get some blood into you fast."

Thankfully Corps was stabilized, but doctors told him he had come "this close" to bleeding to death. He had lost two-thirds of his entire blood volume and required 14 units of blood. A few days later, surgeons operated, removing 20 centimeters of his colon.

The Monday after Corps’ fateful weekend, the word went round the Learning and Instructional Development Centre’s office and co-workers wondered what they should do. Tara McFarlane and Michael Roberts suggested donating blood, which their fellow colleagues agreed was a more meaningful alternative to sending flowers. They learned that Canadian Blood Services would pick them up and drive them to the clinic if six or more people volunteered. They managed seven people the following week, in a minibus after a lunch of barbecued steaks (courtesy of SFU).

"We wanted it to be as much of a party as possible," says Roberts, who has a morbid fear of needles.

Corps could not believe his co-workers would go to such lengths to give blood in his name. "I felt truly humbled," says Corps, who spent 13 days in hospital and lost 25 pounds, returning to work at in the fall.

"Don’t wait till a colleague nearly bleeds to death before you donate blood," says Roberts. "Put your fear aside and do it."

He suggests participating in SFU’s Blood Donor Clinic on Wed. Oct. 29, 11 am–5:30 pm in the James Douglas Room on the west side of the AQ. Call 1-888-2-DONATE for an appointment.
Search SFU News Online