The teachers at Tenby Schools Setia Eco Park are more than just teachers. They are lifelong learners, a person who gives back to the community, passionates sportsperson, avid travellers and many more. They go ‘Beyond Teaching’.
The ‘Beyond Teaching’ series highlights our Teachers who are active outside of lessons, whether through individual passion, or community involvement.
In our first edition, we’d like to introduce Mr. Prabagaran, our Science Teacher in Tenby International School, Secondary. Mr. Prabagaran is a regular blood donor, and a registered donor donor. He has donated blood for 44 times since he turned 17!
We ask him a few questions on what drives him to be a regular blood donor, and what made him register himself as an organ donor.
When did you start donating blood?
I first started donating my blood when I was at the age of 17 in my pre-university college, Kedah Matriculation College. Since the legal age for donating blood is 18 years old, I had to request my parents’ permission to donate my blood. It was just a simple document to fill in and sign.
What made you donate blood?
It all started with one simple question when I was around 13 years old, “How can I help my community regardless of status, race, and religion?”. I was hunting for the answer to that question for a few years until a news article caught my eye when I was 15 years old. I have forgotten the actual title, but it sounds something like this, “Many Malaysians are dying due to short of blood supply mainly during festive seasons road accidents”. So, that is when I decided to donate my blood when I can legally do it.
What is your motivation to continue donating blood?
My main motivation is helping lives because for each 1 pint (473.18 ml) of blood we donate, we can save 3 different lives (each bag of blood is divided into red blood cells, plasma and platelet). Each time when I successfully donated my blood, I will feel relieved those 3 innocent lives might be saved. Besides that, I also felt my emotional well-being improved each time I donate my blood as I feel less stressed and more peaceful after donating my blood. Maybe these addictions are what make me donate my blood every 2 or 3 months.
Do you set a target for blood donation? If yes, what is the target?
So far, I have successfully donated 44 times and the last one was on the 16th of April 2022. My target is to reach a minimum of 100 times before the age of 50 (my earlier target was 40 but due to the Covid-19 pandemic I had to reset my target) and continue to donate while I’m still fit. Besides this figure target, I also have a different personal target which is to educate people around me on the importance of blood donation and pledge for organ donation. So far, I did inspire many family members and friends to donate their blood by asking them to race to reach their donation target as I do.
Do you have a message for those who have not donated blood or are scared to donate blood?
Transfusions of blood and blood products save millions of lives every year. We need blood and plasma products every day to support cancer patients, new mums and babies, people with immune deficiencies or blood diseases, and people who need surgery. Those words are not from me but from Dr Luo Dapeng, WHO Country Representative in Papua New Guinea. If you haven’t and are healthy and able to, it’s never too late to donate blood and help save some life because every few seconds, someone, somewhere, needs blood. If you need a very special day to start, I can recommend you start your first blood donation on the 14th of June 2022. Why this date? 14th June is World Blood Donor Day. On this same day, you can also pledge to donate your organs to those in need after we die. Remember, a single organ donor can save up to eight lives. By also donating tissues and eyes, the same donor can improve up to 50 lives.
“After I die if I am buried I will rot. If I am burnt I will become ash but if my body is donated I will live to give life and happiness to many.” – Amit Abraham
Mr. Prabagaran is such an inspiration to the school community, and he’s not the only one! Watch out for more stories in ‘Beyond Teaching’ series.