“Every platelet donor is a blood donor, but not every blood donor is a platelet donor. You need to be capable to donate platelets. Since I am capable, I consider it my responsibility to donate it. That’s why, I took a pledge to donate it twice a month.”
Before donating platelets, Mahesh has been a blood donor since the year 1989. He has donated blood around 30 times so far. In those times, there was no social media or mobile phones. He was on the blood bank registry in Mumbai. Due to this, relatives of ailing patients use to approach him for blood donation. Most of the times, he would willingly go along with them to donate his blood.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, he said, “In 2006, while I was working for a private company. I got an SMS from the H.R. department that a cancer patient at Tata Hospital was in need of platelets. At the time, I didn’t even know what the word ‘platelets’ meant. But I went to the hospital anyway.”
A few tests were run on him at the hospital, after which he was deemed capable of donating platelets. From here, he began his journey of being a platelet donor. In June 2006, he donated platelets for the first time and donated his platelets, seven times during the course of three and a half months to the same patient.
He was inspired after this incident. In 2008, on the occasion of his wife’s birthday, he took a pledge to donate platelets twice in one month. In order to help patients in need. From May 2008 – September 2019, he has donated platelets around 396 times.
He is registered in 38 blood banks. He is registered with five municipal corporations, namely, Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli, Navi Mumbai, and Panvel.
Mahesh stated, “People have misconceptions regarding platelet donation. They believe that it will affect their health. But nothing of this such happens. There are zero side-effects, I am an example of this. I donate platelets twice a month. But I’m still fit, there are no harmful effects of platelet donation. It is beneficial to us and helps prevents chronic diseases from developing.”
He further added, “Everyone wants to contribute to the country in some way. But not everyone can fight at the border. But donating blood and platelets is a service to the country and mankind. If you are healthy, educated and a city dweller then you can come ahead and donate platelets.”
Mahesh stated that he couldn’t have taken this pledge without the support of his wife. As she is the one, who is responsible for his health and welfare because she takes care of his diet.
He informed, “My wife also donates blood and platelets but due to certain reasons. She cannot donate platelets every month like me. From 2014 till now, she has donated blood six times and platelets thrice.”
His wife, Smita, said, “In order to maintain a good platelet count, one should have a well-balanced diet. We eat non-vegetarian food, green leafy vegetables, dates, peanuts, jaggery, etc. Easy to afford and nourishing food. I’m a bit disappointed that I cannot donate platelets as often as my husband. But my husband is very supportive.”
Mahesh informed that it is important to maintain the levels of platelets, haemoglobin, and protein. It has an effect on veins too. He said, “We have to do hand exercises and take care. Donating platelets is challenging, but where there is a will, there is a way. If you are capable of platelet donation then please come forward.”