When Bangalore-based Aditya Hegde received a call, informing him of a pregnant woman who desperately needed a blood transfusion in Chennai, he did not think twice. Grabbing the first train he could find to Chennai, he rushed to the aid of the woman, donated one unit of blood, and saved not only her life but that of her child.
The 34-year-old financial professional is not just any donor.
He has a rare blood type, known as HH negative, or the Bombay blood group, which was only recently discovered and is said to be found in just one of 10,000 people in India, and one in 1,000,000 people in Europe.
Today, according to a report by The Times of India, the woman is out of danger and has given birth to a healthy baby girl, thanks to the timely blood transfusion. Inspired by Aditya, she has enrolled herself as a donor at the Government Hospital of Women and Children in Egmore, where she was a patient.
With a blood group so rare, Aditya has selflessly given his blood to those in need of it—55 times in the past 17 years, through the Sankalp India Foundation which has several initiatives for blood donation. He has donated to recipients across Asia, from Pakistan to Sri Lanka. The blood usually lasts up to 35 days and is transported using an ice box to the hospitals and patients that need it.
In a conversation with the News Minute, he says, “When I started donating blood 17 years ago, I didn’t know I had the Bombay blood group. It was only in 2004 that I discovered that it was HH negative. I never saw donating blood as a duty because of my blood type. It was just something I wanted to do and intend to continue doing as long as I can.”