Mangaluru: There is something very rewarding about donating blood. You take home the satisfaction of saving some lives and Suhas Hegde from Nandalike in Karkala was enjoying the same gratifying feeling.
After having donated blood for about 32 times, Suhas, an engineer who runs his own sawmill has 'scary-funny' story to narrate, merely few days after World Blood Donor's day on June 14.
A phone call in 1990s had left Suhas jolted to the extent that he felt he would not recover from the shock. It was a call from Manipal Hospital. The call was unclear and had got disconnected within few seconds but the voice on the other end of the line had confirmed to Suhas that he should refrain from donating blood.
Suhas was convinced that he must have been a victim of some deadly disease that prevents him from donating blood.
Just a few days before this call, Suhas, an enthusiastic blood donor had donated blood at a camp organised locally. The bloodstock had reached the hospital and a few days later he received a call from authorities at the Manipal hospital, who said some words like HH and Bombay Blood.
Unaware of the Bombay blood group, a confused Suhas had even gone to a local medical practitioner. Life had taken a full circle and fear had left him disinterested till he received a letter from Manipal Hospital.
Mustering courage, Suhas had searched for an isolated spot to read the letter. However, the content of the letter had put Suhas's life back on track.
The letter informed him about his rare blood group.
"Later, when I made researches and inquiries on my own I came to know about this Bombay blood," speaking to Newskarnataka Suhas says.
For the uninitiated, Bombay blood group is a very rare type and is also called as h/h or 'Oh' blood group. This rare blood group was discovered in 1952 by Dr. YM Bhende in Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay) since then this blood type was named 'Bombay Blood'.
Since the blood group is very rare (maybe one in 10,000 in India) Suhas was advised not to donate blood at local camps but only to those in need. Towards this end, Suhas now coordinates and also volunteers at Sankalp India Foundation to reach out to needy patients with the same blood type.
Apart from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi areas, he has even travelled to Bengaluru, Mumbai to donate blood.
Recognising his noble deed, Suhas Hegde has been honoured by several institutions the very recent felicitation being at a reputed city hospital on the occasion of World Blood Donors' day.