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  • Writer's pictureDavid Mathews


I have been suspended. The shame of it. I’ve never been suspended before, not being a footballer, nurse, GP, socially awkward school student or unruly Member of Parliament. That’s not to say I haven’t deserved suspension from time to time, just that in many walks of life the sanction is not available.

It came out of the blue. I waited, having completed the usual paperwork, my name was called, and, almost before I knew it, it was Sleeping Beauty all over again. My finger was pricked, and I was out of circulation.

I was counselled. All being well, I can resume in a year’s time if I wish, but no later than two years from now. First see your doctor, the nurse told me.

Tuesday evening, Bath City Football Club, NHS Blood and Transplant. Where had my haemoglobin gone? It was there last time they looked, but now it had gone absent without leave, or at least enough of it had to stymie my donating a pint of my lovely red blood.

I felt guilty. How could I have been so careless? I eat my greens, nuts, pulses, lean meat, etc., but I’ve slipped up somewhere. How will my hospitals manage, St Helier, Kettering, Stepping Hill, St George’s, Royal Bournemouth?

Can you help? The NHS is short of donors. Will someone take my place, please? I’m ‘A positive’, but they’ll take you with anything.

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