Daughter appeals for blood for Dumas

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Former diplomat and Newsday columnist Reginald Dumas – File photo

Distinguished former public servant and diplomat Reginald Dumas is urgently in need of blood as he lies at the Scarborough Hospital after major surgery.

His daughter Sonja Dumas told the Newsday that for the last few weeks Dumas, 88, had been having gastro-intestinal challenges, which ended in his having emergency surgery at the Scarborough hospital.

She said family members and his medical team continue to monitor her father, who is now in the post-operative phase, still sedated and semi-conscious.

“Because he has been in the hospital for so long prior to the gastro-intestinal crisis, he has also developed some hospital-born challenges that we are now trying to manage as well,” she said.

Sonja Dumas made a public appeal on social media on Thursday, saying it is of critical importance for anyone wishing to donate blood to her father to do so, both in Trinidad and in Tobago.

She asked donors to WhatsApp the donation slip to her at 788-1472.

She explained, “This has become necessary because the blood bank in Tobago just informed me that if blood is given in Trinidad (even with the name and other details of the recipient), Trinidad will not inform Tobago. So please send proof of your donation ASAP.”

In an interview with the Newsday, Sonja explained that she made the appeal on the advice of her father’s medical team, who underscored that he needs as much blood as possible so his recovery is not compromised.

“The doctors have indicated that he needs several litres of blood, even in the post-operative period, as the largest part of the problem was his loss of blood.”

She said his condition is still in very tenuous in terms of his recovery.

“We hope things go in the right direction. This is a very critical time.”

Tobago-born Dumas’s blood type is A positive. While donations of his blood type are preferable, any type can be accepted

“In the blood bank system, you can donate any blood type. Once they have the supply, they can transfer it to him.”

She said she was told on Friday that two units of blood would be sent by courier from Trinidad to Tobago.

“I am hoping this would help. People have been donating and sending their chits.”

Asked about the difficulty in having the blood transferred from Trinidad, she said, “I don’t think it is a question of physically transporting the blood. I think it is a question of supply and co-ordination between the blood bank in Trinidad and the blood bank in Tobago.

“It is a bank with ‘branches’ where people should be able to make a deposit to send from Tobago to Trinidad or vice versa. I am understanding that is not easy as it sounds.”

On behalf of her father and family, Sonja expressed gratitude to those “who have poured out their sentiment, who have made efforts to get him what he needs and have supported the family in this fairly difficult time.

“He would want me to say that he is very grateful for all the prayers, vibrations, good wishes and action taken to promoting and advocating for his health and his recovery.”

Dumas is a Newsday columnist.