Linda Coates is working to make something good come from her son’s death. Nick Coates was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Kenmount Road last August. Despite the short time that has passed, Linda isn’t simply staying home to mourn.
“I have to find some sense, some normality about why this happened. There has to be a reason,” she says.
She wonders if part of that reason may be bringing a wider awareness about the importance of giving blood. Although Nick didn’t make it, he was given a lot of donated blood when he was brought to the hospital. About 80 units, his mother says.
“He took a lot of the supply of blood in the city of St. John’s that day.”
After a friend who is a nurse mentioned it in passing, Linda ran with the idea of having a blood donor clinic in Nick’s honour.
Four months later, on Monday evening, the clinic was a reality that took place at two locations — All Saints Parish Hall in C.B.S. and on Wicklow Street in St. John’s.
“I’m really pleased with everything that’s happening,” says Linda.
Karen Power is an event co-ordinator with Canadian Blood Services and helped plan the donor clinic honouring Nick Coates. She says they try and do as many honour clinics as possible.
“It brings out a lot of people who never donated before,” she says. “We feel more people are aware of the message. They’re aware of where the donation might be going.”
In a province with an aging population, new donors are vital because the organization’s regular donors are aging, as well, Karen says.
Nick Coates was 27 when he died. His family has started a couple of scholarships in his name. There’s also an annual car show that will have its second event this summer. The plan is for the blood donor clinic to be annual, as well.
“I feel that something good has to come out of something this tragic and this terrible,” says Linda.
Creating the clinic in Nick’s honour is not just potentially helping people in dire need of donated blood. It’s helping Nick’s family, too.
“This is a way for us to heal,” his mother says.