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Midnight Run to Columbia
It’s 11:00 o’clock at night, we have just gone to bed when the telephone rings. I answer and the voice on the line says “Is this Bill Lewis I am talking to? I say, Yes.” She introduces herself as chairman of the Missouri Blood Drive and advises me that the state is out of type 0- Negative Blood and Columbia Hospital is in need of a direct blood transfusion. Her name is Mother Wagoner. She has a grandson in law with 0 negative blood, could you possibly hook up with him at Joe Muir’s store in Hurdland in the next few minutes? “Yes, I will.” I told the wife what was happening, put in my shoes and drove into Hurdland.
There, Stanley Gelback was waiting and we made the midnight run to Columbia. Two met us at the garage door and quickly escorted us to the operating room, where two nurses quickly drew samples of our blood. Stanley was on one side of her and I was on the other, we could not see the patient or the doctors. So, after about an hour or two, they wheeled us into a recovery room and advised us that the operation was a success. We never did see Mrs. Wagoner.
I drifted off into an uneasy sleep for an hour or so. I awoke and asked where Stanley was. The nurse said he was in the next room. For some reason this was the first time I had a reaction from giving blood. The nurse said it was because we were both tired.
About six in the morning they brought us some breakfast and an intern advised us the operation went well, but she was too weak for visitors. But they would advise her after recovery who donated the blood. By ten o’clock we were regaining our strength and we drove back to Hurdland.
Giving someone blood is one of those things you feel good about the rest of your life.
I gave blood every year till I had Bypass Surgery. They refuse to take it when you are on blood thinner.
Mrs. Wagoner lived a few more years, she never stopped thanking me.
Contributed by Bill Lewis