An inspirational Sheffield teenager told she could never give blood has filmed a video encouraging others to donate – which is now being used by the NHS.
Precious Sikaonga, aged 18, entered a film competition earlier this year to encourage blood donation as she wanted to make a difference, even though she could not donate herself due to a medical condition.
She put together a five-strong crew and then filmed and edited her one minute video in just two days.
Precious, who has just finished her A-levels at King Ecgbert School in Dore, said she never expected anything to come of her submission.
She said: “So many lives are lost – just because there isn’t enough blood available.
“After being told I couldn’t donate blood I always wanted to do something to help and this seemed like the perfect thing.
“I definitely didn’t expect to win the competition.”
But after getting good exam results – which earned her a place at Leeds Beckett University to study biomedical science – there was more good news.
Precious said: “My head of year gave me a call to say that I had won the video competition. I was completely speechless.
“I don’t really care about winning the competition, though. If my video can even encourage even a handful of people to donate blood then that would be amazing.
“I can’t even put it into words how it feels to know my video might result in somebody’s life being saved – it’s an incredible feeling.”
Precious was diagnosed with sickle cell trait six years ago, which means she is unable to donate blood.
But in researching her video, Precious discovered she can in fact donate blood platelets, which she now does regularly.
She said: “Giving blood is such a positive thing people can do. It’s not as painful or as difficult as people think.”
Precious thanked her film crew – Beth Jones, Sarah Patrick, Chris Hulme, Saisal Awadh and Hafsa Nazir.