Jehovah's Witness gives up faith to survive

The (London) Times, June 9, 2000
By Alex O'Connell

A Jehovah's Witness who lost five pints of blood in a machete attack renounced his faith so that he could have a blood transfusion. Doctors said that it saved Brent Bond's life with only seconds to spare.

Mr Bond's jugular vein was severed during the assault but his faith bans blood transfusions. Mr Bond, 24, from Nottingham, knew that his mother would never grant approval for a transfusion so seconds before he lost consciousness he told a paramedic: "I'm no longer a Jehovah's Witness. I give my consent to a transfusion."

Mr Bond was speaking after his attacker appeared in court and admitted causing grievous bodily harm. Wayne Boden, 29, of Nottingham, will be sentenced at a later date at the city's Crown Court.

Mr Bond said that his prediction about his mother's attitude proved correct. When she arrived at the Queen's Medical Centre she tried to stop the transfusion going ahead. Mother and son had since discussed the situation and agreed that his survival was all that mattered.

"The hospital was able to prove I had already given my consent," he added. "I managed to give it to the ambulanceman and that saved my life. There was no way I could have survived after I had lost that much blood."

Mr Bond, who was brought up as a Jehovah's Witness, was attacked after leaving a pub after a night out with friends. He was struck on the hands, face, back and neck, partially severing his spine and slicing his jugular vein.

Mr Bond suffered brain-damage and has had to give up his job as a van driver. "But at least I am alive," he said.

Kate Foreman, a consultant haematologist at the Queen's Medical Centre, said that Mr Bond's decision had saved him. "This young man was very lucky. After losing so much blood his chances of survival without a transfusion would not be good," she said.

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