It’s not too often that the Canadian Blood Services donation centre in Saanich gets a visit from a hockey team.
On Saturday (Oct. 8) morning, players from the Victoria Cougars Junior Hockey Club put on their team jerseys before heading into the donation centre – nearly all of them to give blood for the first time.
The idea came from Cougars team director Scott Adams, who not only organized the group donation, but inspired the young hockey players to come out and donate blood with his harrowing story.
In 2016, Adams was rushed to Victoria General Hospital in critical condition after sustaining multiple injuries in a car accident.
“I have no memory of this, but the police who accompanied me to the hospital said that by the time I got there, when they pulled the gurney out of the ambulance, blood was just pouring off the edge of this thing,” he said.
When he arrived at the hospital, around 40 bags of blood were needed to simply keep him alive. To put that number in perspective, Adams said it would’ve required two whole hockey teams – about 40 players in total – to donate their blood just to save his life.
“I needed a lot of blood,” he said. And that’s assuming they all have the same blood type.
It’s been six years since Adams’ accident, and although his recovery has gone well, he still requires follow-up appointments and surgeries.
Realizing that Canadian hospitals are always in need of blood, Adams began pushing to mobilize Greater Victoria’s junior hockey teams to get out to the blood bank. He has even developed a habit of donating his own blood. To date, Adams has donated his blood a remarkable 44 times over the six years following his accident.
“It’s in you to give,” he said. “I keep saying it because it is. And it’s not something that you give and you never get back. You just make more. It’s kind of a renewable resource.”
Cougars forward Monty Moreau, who isn’t exactly a fan of needles, said he felt particularly nervous as he waited to donate blood for the very first time in his life.
But despite his unease, the 19-year-old said he wanted to support a good cause after learning of Adam’s near-death experience. “The boys are doing it, so I am too,” Moreau said. “If my blood can help someone, that’s most important.”
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