Survivor's Debt


  • Anne A Pinkerton


“Make a fist and hold it,” the friendly young nurse says to me as she pumps up the blood pressure cuff. It tightens around my bicep, and she slides a needle into my rising vein. When she does the same to my other arm, I smile up at her in her bright red scrubs realizing that the Red Cross staff members no longer say things like, “OK, you’ll feel a little sting” or ask if I’m ready. They know that I know the drill.

On the first anniversary of my brother David’s death, now nearly ten years ago, I decided to give blood for the first time at a local donation drive. David had been a doctor, and I figured he’d have appreciated my tribute.

Author Biography

Anne A Pinkerton

Anne Pinkerton is a communications professional in western Massachusetts where she lives with her husband, two dogs, and five cats. She studied poetry as an undergrad at Hampshire College and received her MFA in creative nonfiction from Bay Path University. Her writing has appeared in Hippocampus Magazine, riverSedge Literary Journal, Modern Loss, among others, as well as her blog,




How to Cite

Pinkerton, A. A. (2020). Survivor’s Debt. Ars Medica, 15(1), 8. Retrieved from