Blood clinics overflowing with donations in wake of attacks in Spain

Barcelona, Spain (CBC, Aug 19,2017): Many in Barcelona feeling the strain and helplessness born of this week’s attacks will tell you there is but one place in town guaranteed to help you feel a little better. Just a little less impotent.

A blood bank.

Blood banks have been overflowing in the wake of events on Thursday when an attacker, or attackers, driving a white Fiat van deliberately drove into the crowds on the city’s famed pedestrian mall, Las Ramblas, killing more than a dozen people.

‘My war against the terrorists’

Lika Meldrum is clearly agitated. A mother and grandmother, she can’t sit still in the big, gold chair as she waits to give a second round of blood. She couldn’t stop thinking aboutwhat happened in her city, she says, so she came here.

“It’s a lot in my mind,” she says. “And right now, what I’m doing … [giving] somebody my blood … it’s like my war against the terrorists.

“I can’t go and take the gun and, you know, fight with them. I can’t. Right now, I’m fighting them [by sharing] my blood.”

Meldrum came to Barcelona via Georgia (in the Caucasus) and the United States. A former nurse, she moved here with her husband two years ago to retire.

“I try to live in peace, but I don’t know what’s happened with this — why they’re fighting, what they need. Why? What for? I just never understand that.”

‘We try not to be afraid today’

This particular blood clinic is located at the Sant Pau hospital. The line to give blood stretches right out the door, made up mostly of young people sitting on the ground as they wait their turn.

The duty nurse reports there had been more than 150 donations by the afternoon, and the line was still growing.

“I think that everybody can do something and help each other,” said Laura Cordozo, a 33-year-old nanny from Argentina, another expat who has put down roots in the Catalan city.

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