CAA Student Determined To Give

October 01, 2003 | David Allen

At Columbia Adventist Academy’s fall blood drive in November 2002, junior Tom Wilson was ineligible to give because he did not meet the age eligibility requirement; he was not 17 years old. When David Allen, blood drive chairperson, was signing up students to donate, Wilson was disappointed that he couldn’t give yet. Wilson asked when the next blood drive take place and was elated that he would be 17. One hundred percent of Wilson’s class that was eligible to give signed up for the November 2002 blood drive.

On March 14, just four days after being eligible to give blood, Wilson answered the questions on the registration form at Columbia Academy’s spring blood drive. Wilson was his usual cheerful self, making everyone smile.

The real test of his commitment to give came when the phlebotomist couldn’t get into Wilson’s vein in his left arm. After several tries, the American Red Cross nurse suggested to Wilson that they should stop. He looked disappointed and immediately said, “Try my right arm.” The blood technician was hesitant, but Wilson insisted. After he changed position, the nurse readied his right arm for the needle stick. This time was successful in getting into a vein, and the life-giving blood started to fill the collection bag.

The American Red Cross personnel are always impressed with Columbia Adventist Academy students. CAA has the highest percentage of eligible donors that actually sign up and present themselves on the day of the blood drive. “Your students are so polite and cooperative, and they talk and act more mature than the usual high school student,” commented one of the nurses. But she was especially impressed with the determination that Tom Wilson had to donate his blood. “That young man was certainly an inspiration.”