This afternoon I went to deliver soaps to an ex-colleague at Westgate, and three of us caught up with the latest happenings in each other's lives over lunch.
I got a bonus cos my ex-boss said she's going to give me a surprise. While waiting for her at the lobby, I saw the foyer wall citing various corporations whose offices are situated in the tower. Remembering my first blood donation at HSA Westgate in 2015 when we relocated to this new office building, I thought of making a donation later.
My surprise bonus turned out to be a belated Xmas/Birthday gift from Crabtree & Evelyn. Yeah, she remembers I often have cracked skin on my thumbs and fingers so she gave me Gardener. Boss lady, thank you. You know who you are.
Getting a pass to HSA Blood Donation@Westgate Level 10, I walked into a quiet centre. Who in the right mind is donating blood at 2pm on a Tuesday?
Anyway the receptionist smiled at me gently and didn't reply. She gave me a form to fill and got on with the registration. The next moment, she called my name and gave me another surprise of the day. For donating my blood in my birthday month, I get to receive a pillow, courtesy of the Singapore Red Cross.
After getting a number, I was screened by a doc and pricked for Hb check. Finally, I was allocated a window seat and the Blood Centre Assistants proceeded with their work. Everything went smoothly and after 20 minutes, I left the donation area for the F&B corner.
At the doorway, I saw a man in white top standing near the drinks table, asking me if I would like a cold Milo or a hot drink. So I asked him, "Are you the Butler?"
"No, I meant Butler. Or waiter? How come blood bank today got someone asking me what I want to drink? Isn't this a DIY thing?"
"Oh, Butler. Okay, I can be your Butler for the day..."
I eyed him again; he didn't have any HSA nor Red Cross identifier, so perhaps he's another donor just wanting a chat. So I said I didn't need his help and proceeded to make my own hot Milo, grabbed some biscuits and found a seat by the wide windows showing the fantastic view of the Jurong East skyline.
My Butler protested it's a bit offside for him cos he's charging his mobile at the innermost table. But I declared the view is a major plus point for him to relocate and he took up my suggestion.
And the afternoon became the beginning of another chapter in our lives.
Well, who is "Takalah"?
"I lost 1/3 of my blood during a traffic accident in 1994. If it weren't for the multiple blood transfusions I received in the hours following my accident, I probably would have died. Today I'm a regular blood donor because I know how crucial it is for blood to be available at all times. Thank you blood donors for making sure those who need blood have a chance to survive." - Takalah Tan (blood beneficiary)
Takalah Tan Check him out if you haven't heard his story.
Find out more how you can donate blood and help save a life: Red Cross SG
Takalah has donated more than 50 bags of blood so far, and he's aiming to donate 50 more in the next decade. 100 bags will earn a man a Gold Medal for Blood Donation.