It has become the tradition of several families in the central city of Da Nang to donate their blood to those in need without expecting anything in return.
Members of three families in the central hub have made a total of 262 blood donations to people they barely knew.
Some members of the families have given away their blood up to 60 times, a contribution totaling three times the volume of blood in a normal human body.
The donors have never hesitated to help save the lives of those in need under any circumstances, and so the prime minister himself has recently decided to honor the ‘silent heroes’ for their selfless and noble acts.
Family of blood donors
Thi Ly Binh and his wife Thao reside in a small house situated in an alley on Ngo Chan Luu Street, Lien Chieu District in Da Nang.
The walls of the couple’s living room are packed with certificates and photos recognizing their outstanding ‘accomplishment’ in humanitarian blood donation.
“We contribute to making this world a better place. I sometimes keep it secret from my parents to prevent them from worrying,” Binh said.
Both working at the Da Nang psychiatric hospital, the couple is fully aware of and sympathizes with the pain of their patients, treasuring the value of each drop of blood when it comes to saving a person’s life.
Binh and his wife have also been encouraging their relatives to make their own contribution to society.
“We have to set an example to our family members. Then our family will be the motivation for the entire community to make a donation and save lives,” Binh elaborated.
Nearly all healthy members of the couple’s family, from their siblings to in-laws, have become active benefactors, Thao said, adding that they had accumulated 110 blood donations at local hospitals.
“Of course I have established a club for local blood donors. But it is best to ask your family members when the donation is urgent,” Binh continued.
“Our identities are also kept confidential as we do not want the recipients to feel indebted to us,” he added.
Giving blood in the middle of the night
Truong Ngoc Dung, 50, living in Hai Chau District, and the eight other members of his family have also made nearly 100 blood donations.
Despite being a small framed man weighing only 50 kilograms, Dung has always been one of the most enthusiastic contributors in humanitarian blood donation.
Aside from making their monthly contribution as a charitable act, Dung and his wife, Nguyen Thi Sinh, sometimes donate their blood out of the blue.
According to Dung, he and his wife once offered their help without hesitation to a young patient while they were visiting a sick relative at a local infirmary.
The man recalled a similar story three years ago, when the couple rushed to the hospital in the middle of a stormy night to provide urgent assistance for a critical patient.
Blood bank leader
Doan Van Hoa, 49, who himself has donated blood over 30 times, has been honored for encouraging more than 4,300 people to donate.
Da Nang has been the country’s top location for blood donation, Hoa said, adding that the blood bank is always full thanks to the dedication of local citizens.
Hoa considered his long list of thousands of volunteers, who were always ready to give away their blood, his most precious asset.
He is often the first person that hospitals across the city will contact whenever a blood donor is needed.
Apart from working at the local Red Cross Society, Hoa also keeps busy organizing regular blood donation plans.
“The city requires at least 3,000 units of blood per month. Thorough calculation and planning must be carried out to meet the demand for all types of blood, especially rare ones such as RH(-) and RH(+),” the man explained.
Many members of his family are frequent blood donors, Hoa said, recounting the time his younger sister donated her blood just a day before her wedding ceremony.
“With his talent, Hoa can get any high-paying job at any major firm. But he chooses to dedicate his life to helping others instead,” a friend of Hoa’s said.