Woman Learns Who Donated Her Blood, Only To Discover An Amazing Coincidence

Coincidences happen all the time. But the extraordinary coincidence that Lin Xiaofen of Taiwan encountered made international headlines. Lin suffered from a near-fatal accident that required her to receive over ten units of donated blood. When she discovered who her donor was, she ran into the most remarkable blessing of her life.

Was it fate that brought the donor and receiver together? Did Lin’s terrible accident lead to a life-changing connection? Decide for yourself when you read the miracle story that has the internet in a frenzy.

To start, see what happened to Lin that resulted in almost all of her blood being replaced.

The Accident That Started It All

Lin Xiaofen smiling during a Pear Video interview
@Pear Video

Around 2008, Lin Xiaofen fell victim to a terrible accident while living in Taipei, Taiwan. Some sources claim that she suffered from a near-fatal car crash, while others assert that she passed out and fell into a coma.

Regardless of what her accident was, she did end up in the emergency room. Although she received treatment for her wounds, doctors encountered a severe problem. She wouldn’t stop bleeding. Doctors had to act quickly.

Despite The Conflicting Reports, Her Condition Was Critical

Two pharmacists work behind a counter at a children's hospital in Taipei.

Lin had a bleeding disorder that prevented her wounds from healing. She needed a blood transfusion to provide her with healthy blood and make her wounds close. Lin received ten units of a donor’s blood. That amount replaces most of the person’s blood volume and is one of the largest transfusions one could have.

Fortunately for Lin, hospitals receive daily shipments of donated blood. If the doctors didn’t receive donated blood that matched hers, she would have died in 2008.

Why Did She Need A Transfusion?

Lina Kenef, who is doing a voluntary social year, is standing in front of shelves with blood preserves in the cold storage room of the DRK blood donation service.
Arne Dedert/picture alliance via Getty Images

Bleeding disorders occur when a body cannot create enough platelets to close the wound. Platelets are a blood cell which causes injuries to clot, stopping the bleeding.

Once doctors receive the blood, they divide it into three components: red cells, platelets, and plasma. Lin received ten units of red cell blood to replace the amount she lost, and two more units of platelets to force her wounds to close.

She Needed Not One, But Several Transfusions

Man donating blood to patients
Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Even after the initial incident, Lin’s treatment wasn’t done. Because of her bleeding disorder, she received two further blood transfusions after her first. Most donated blood lasts for about a month, so she could gain the same donor’s blood throughout procedures.

Her later transfusions were lighter and, overall, replaced almost all of her blood. Although transfusions do come with health risks, such as hypothermia or abnormal clotting, Lin endured all procedures and came out healthy.

Her tragic medical emergency may have lead to a lifelong connection.

Later In Life, Lin Encountered A Spiritual Connection

Lin and Lian pose with balloon animals

Despite her transfusions, Lin lived a happy life. She moved back to her hometown, Hsinchu, to take over the family business. That’s when she met Lian Zhicheng, who sold rice dumplings in her town.

The two began dating and immediately developed a deep connection. Ever since Lin and Lian met, they felt strangely drawn to one another and developed a strong bond. As they would soon discover, their connection may have grown from a momentous experience.

By Chance, She Met A Blood Donor

Lian and Lin taking a selfie

Two years into Lin and Lian’s relationship, the couple learned more about one another. Lin eventually opened up about the incident nine years beforehand, which caused her to require a blood transfusion.

As Lian heard this story, he revealed that he had regularly donated blood since he turned 20. He believed that his donations would help people in her condition. He joked, “Could it be my blood that you used?”

How Could He Be Her Donor?

Lian in his Pear Video interview
@Pear Video

Blood transfusions do not need to match in gender or race, but they do need to match somehow. The donated blood needs to match the ABO group of the recipient, for instance being type A, B, AB, or O.

It also has to be in the same Rh group, meaning that it contains positive or negative D antigens. Different blood types can be compatible with others, such as B+ donation blood working for both AB+ and B+ patients.

The coincidence would be more unlikely than people think.

It’s Incredibly Unlikely

Blood samples seen at the Russian Federal Biomedical Agency's blood centre.
Mikhail TereshchenkoTASS via Getty Images

Although O- is considered the universal blood donor, that only applies for red cell compatibility. For platelets transfusions, such as Lin received, the blood type would need to match more precisely. If it didn’t, the white cells in the patient’s body would reject the donated blood.

Lian’s blood type matched Lin’s. However, red blood cells only store for up to 42 days, so the margin between the donation and the accident had to lay out perfectly.

The Timelines Matched Up

Lian's blood donations matched up with Lin's accident

Around the time that Lin had encountered her accident, Lian regularly donated blood. He commonly brought up the possible coincidence to Lin as a joke.

Beyond her boyfriend’s meddling, Lin contemplated the possibility. After all, they had the same blood type, and Lain donated around when Lin fell ill. To end the suspicions (and the private joke), Lin decided to investigate who her blood donor was.

Lin found it challenging to reveal her donor…

Blood Transfusions Are Largely Anonymous

Blood bags with the donor's ID number printed on top, in transport to a hospital
Mikhail TereshchenkoTASS via Getty Images

During the blood donation process, donor stations take down the donor’s blood type and whether they’re eligible to offer blood. Each donation is labeled with an identification number to keep the donor mostly anonymous.

However, blood stations will have the donor’s name stored in their files to look up the person’s medical records. Lin did not receive her donor’s name or identification number during her transfusion. Her search for the truth wouldn’t be easy.

It’s Harder To Learn Than One Thinks

A doctor checks the pulse of a patient in the BenQ Hospital in Nanjing
Ryan Pyle/Corbis via Getty Images

Unfortunately for Lin, blood donation is kept highly confidential. Authorities at her local blood station refused to reveal her donor, no matter how many times she asked. She had to know, however. She kept pushing.

Eventually, the authorities decided to drop some hints. They revealed that her donor was a Mr. Lian from her hometown of Hsinchu. Unless there was another Lian in Hsinchu at the time, the couple’s private joke would become a reality.

They Could Only Give Lin A Hint…

Lin in her Pear Video interview
@Pear Video

Lin’s pestering paid off. The “hints” that the doctors were able to provide her was all the evidence that Lin needed, other than the feeling in her gut.

The couple met in Hsinchu by coincidence. Lin lived in Taipei during the accident, so the likelihood of receiving donor blood from her hometown was unlikely in itself. Unless there was another Lian in Hsinchu at the time, the couple’s private joke would become a reality.

Luckily, There’s A Way To Double-Check

Folders containing patient records are pictured
Carl Court/Getty Images

Upon hearing the news, Lin rushed home. She scavenged through the couples’ medical files tucked away in the back closet. Because Lian had donated so frequently, she swiftly unearthed his donor identification number.

Lin brought her donor’s ID to the staff at the station. They compared it with her blood transfusion documents, which also listed the donor’s identification number. They had to cross-check several times to be sure.

It’s A Match!

Lian and Lin laugh during their Pear Video interview
@Pear Video

“When they told me it was a Mr. Lian from Hsinchu, I felt surprised,” Lin reminisced. Not only that, but it was Lian Zhicheng from Hsinchu, her current boyfriend. He had saved her life seven years before the couple met.

Despite his constant joking, Lian was shocked to learn the truth. Even the doctors seemed stunned. This coincidence rarely happens, especially across two different cities. Lian suspected the coincidence for a while, and for a good reason.

No Wonder They Felt A Deep Connection

Lian holds Lin

In an interview with Pear Video, Lian claimed that he could feel a telepathic connection between himself and Lin before they made the discovery. Their hunch was right on the money.

The couple’s story got picked up by news outlets and translated into several different languages. Connections between blood donors and receivers rarely happen, and they certainly don’t start dating on accident. This was certainly an incredibly rare occurrence and the couple recognized how special it was.

Now, Together Forever

Lin and Lian married in March 2018

Years later, Lin Xiaofen and Lian Zhiceng decided to solidify their relationship. The couple got married in March of 2018. Eleven years before that, Lian anonymously donated blood that ended up saving Lin’s life.

The chances of their relationship are so slim that all who heard it felt touched by their journey. Even if they hadn’t found out about the coincidence, the two would have tied the knot. People spread the story like wildfire.

Their Story Went Viral

Lin and Lian's story has inspired thousands of people

Around 2016, news outlets caught wind of Lin and Lian’s story. The story of a man who unknowing saved the life of his future wife through a charitable donation sparked the love and inspiration of people worldwide.

Now, the story has been translated into many different languages. Lin and Lian use their platform to spread awareness of blood transfusions, and the power of anonymous donations. Certainly, it would encourage other people on the fence to donate blood themselves.

Yes, There Is A Joke Here Somewhere

Lian and Lin talk about the coincidence in an interview
@Pear Video

Ever since this news flooded the internet, users have thrown jokes about it left and right. These range from the two being blood-related to the blood stations adopting the slogan, “Donate blood today, save your future wife.”

Despite Lin’s journey to end the private jokes, it seems that Lian himself will never let up. He has a life’s worth of opportunity to claim that he wants his blood back jokingly.

Donate blood, and you might meet your future wife!

Lin Can’t Donate Her Blood

Lin in her Pear Video interview
@Pear Video

Despite knowing firsthand how blood transfusions help people in need, Lin cannot return the favor for someone else. Transfusion recipients, especially those with a bleeding disorder such as Lin’s, cannot donate blood.

Nonetheless, Lin uses her current publicity to encourage everyone to donate blood if they can. Just one blood donation could save more than one life. If you’re as lucky as Lian, you’ll end up saving someone you love.

Yet Another Reason To Donate Blood

 biker donates blood at Gavrilov Blood Centre
Maxim GrigoryevTASS via Getty Images

Lian’s years of blood donations paid off in the most unexpected way possible. Through his public coverage, he encouraged the public to donate blood. “You might have a chance to save your future wife,” he said.

Blood transfusions save lives in times of crises, such as childbirth, anemia, cancer treatments, injuries, and blood disorders. The plasma from blood donations also aids patients with severe infections, burns, and liver failure.