"An elderly female was experiencing gastrointestinal distress during a recent Carnival Liberty cruise while the vessel was en route to Grand Cayman … the guest was in need of blood, and dozens of guests and crew volunteered to donate blood," Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said.
But dozens might be an understatement.
According to a Sun Sentinel article some 150 passengers and crew showed up to help the woman. Of those, three were chosen: one crewmember and two passengers. Each volunteer, plus the ailing woman's husband, donated close to a pint of blood for the transfusions, the newspaper reported.
Gulliksen said the request for donations does happen from time to time. "Invariably the guests and crew always come through and provide much-needed blood and blood products in these emergency situations."
In most cases, the line prefers to use crewmembers because they are regularly screened for various illnesses that can be spread via blood transfusion.
"We are very grateful for the guests and crew in lending their support during these situations."
Carnival Liberty arrived in Grand Cayman several hours ahead of schedule so the woman could be taken to a shoreside hospital for further treatment.
--By Dori Saltzman, News Editor