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Updates From Nilakrisna James on Behalf of Neowell Vann Houtton, Age 12, Urgent Appeal for Donation Of Blood Type O Positive R1 R1 JKA

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah—The 4th floor of Hospital Likas in Kingfisher was today swarmed with donors from all walks of life rushing to donate blood to save the life of Neowell Vann Houtton, whose rare blood type O Positive R1R1 JKA must have an EXACT match to qualify for a successful blood transfusion.

Nilakrisna James, lawyer and activist appealing on 12 year old’s Neowell’s behalf, said that hospital staff had informed her that the blood of donors will go into the blood bank for the hospital and distributed to any patient, not just Neowell. However, Neowell must have an exact blood match so all regular donors to the hospital who have donor cards or are aware that they are O Positive R1R1 JKA are encouraged to donate their blood at Hospital Likas 4th floor in Kingfisher and inform Neowell’s mother, Selly Onong, 0107826955 immediately.
“I appealed to the hospital staff that donors are responding to a public press appeal specifically to help Neowell and that the donors are well aware that their blood will go into a general blood bank if not exactly matched to Neowell. I was also informed by the hospital that the blood will have to be screened first before it can be used for transfusion, which is obvious. Selly Onong and her son has had no updates from Hospital Likas all day and both mother and child are just getting ready for hospital admission at any time as Neowell is now lying down at home and no longer has the energy to get up,” said Nilakrisna.

Nilakrisna added that there is an overwhelming sense of frustration from the public that the hospital only opens their blood donation unit on weekdays till 5pm. “This is not acceptable to a lot of people as many consider the necessity for blood donation and transfusion to be a constant humanitarian need and by closing on weekdays by 5pm you are cutting off potential donors from people who are working adults. Not opening on weekends is also a source of complaints from those who called me all day and many have expressed the necessity for 24 hour emergency blood donation units to be operational in the hospitals. This is something that the Ministry of Health needs to address immediately as there is a real necessity to have a healthy supply of various types of blood in our blood banks nationwide.”

“I am most concerned about the fact that the hospital is not in a position to have a database of rare blood types donors that they can call in situations like this. People with rare blood types should be informed and be the first point of call to assist with blood donations for patients like Neowell. We shouldn’t have to wait till critical blood levels which are life threatening and then expect patients and their families to just hope and pray that somebody from the public will turn up. Selly was told to go and find her own donors! This is the fourth time we have had to appeal via the press and a system is still not in place after 7 years to form a database of donors that can be matched with patients of rare blood types. This is not acceptable to anyone in the public. No one needs to die first before we have a system in place.”

Datuk Raime Unggi, Member of Parliament for Tenom P181, has also contacted Nilakrisna to join the efforts to find donors in the interior of Sabah and will be heading the campaign to bring awareness of the need for blood donation and the improvement in the screening of blood types in the main hospital in Keningau. “I am grateful to Datuk Raime as he is the only MP today who has bothered to call me and respond positively by donating his own blood. Kudos to him and to all the donors who came forward to donate today: These are our real heroes of Sabah.”

ALL O-Positive blood type are encouraged to continue donating next week in case a match can be found for Neowell and be aware that if they are not O-Positive R1R1 JKA, they are still donating blood to save countless lives of women and children in Hospital Likas.

“Test your blood and find out if you are Neowell’s exact match. You can never waste your blood if you donate to the hospital. Every drop you give will save a life,” said Nilakrisna.

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