GeriGündem A SEASIDE VIEW: The moment when four lives unite
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A SEASIDE VIEW: The moment when four lives unite

DİDİM - Journalists the world over are always accused of being "doom and gloom" merchants, but sometimes, even we can feel refreshed with hope from positive action from within the community that we serve.

Four people from all different lives, careers and backgrounds united in one moment to give the gift of life to a man and have now formed lifelong friendships through a bond Ğ of donating blood.

It was not such a simple process as it seems. Ian Whyte, 58, a long-time British resident of Didim, complained to his local doctor of discomfort in his chest "as if a balloon was expanding and the pressure was building up." After checks, he was rushed Adnan Menderes University Hospital, in Aydin, where it was discovered he needed extensive life-saving surgery on his heart.

Not only that Ğ he phoned his wife with the news that she had to find four "live" blood donors as quickly as possible as they would be used as "back-up."

This was due to the fact that Ian was found to have a rare blood group and the hospital only kept four packs of that blood type. Hence, his wife, Val, 54, launched an immediate appeal through her local newspaper and Internet forums in need of a "live" blood bank for his operation.

Val said: "The hospital said he could have had a heart attack at any time, and they did not want to release him. He was told he would have surgery and he phoned me to tell me they had discovered he had a rare blood type and needed donors. That is when I was given the challenge to get the donors."

’Live’ donors

Within three days, she was able to find four "live" donors, Carl Smyth, holidaymaker Deidre O'Reilly, Sonia Birch and Heather Winters, and after checks, they were given the go-ahead to give blood. As it turned out, all four gave blood during Ian’s major operation of a quadruple heart bypass and mitral valve ring surgery. He was moved to intensive care for monitoring, but he was awake, talking and breathing independently.

After the operation, Val said: "It has been a rollercoaster ride from the point of being told he needed surgery, the issue of his rare blood, finding donors, Ian undergoing the op, and now continuing his long-term recuperation from the operation.

"But if it was not for those four wonderful people coming forward, giving their time and the gift of blood, it could have been far more serious for Ian," she said.

"The nurses and doctors have been really great, and I cannot thank everyone enough for what they have done."

She said: "It has been a fraught couple of days since Ian phoned me and told me the hospital wanted live donors and he was leaving me in charge of getting the "live" donors together.

"Ian is so grateful for the way the community stepped in, and the huge support from so many people has been absolutely wonderful," she added.

"It has been really overwhelming and the incredible kindness of people who have put themselves out to help."

Ian is now expected to spend a further week in hospital following the surgery.

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