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National Blood Week: Emily and Karl

Emily received Karl's blood after a car accident. Almost a year later, they met.

Emily's blood story

Emily Pringle was involved in a car accident near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire in July 2018. The 120-mile an hour head-on collision crushed her legs and caused massive injuries including 27 broken bones and a ruptured carotid artery in her neck.

She was taken to hospital in Bristol by helicopter where she spent eight days in intensive care and then three weeks in hospital.

As part of the efforts to save her life, Emily received five units of blood – two at the scene of the accident and another three in hospital.

One of these units was from blood donor Karl Kellner from Stafford.

Karl started donating at university and restarted again recently. He has now given blood 12 times. 

Emily and Karl meet

Emliy and Karl chat while Karl gives blood
Emily: "I want to give him a big hug and say thank you."

Almost a year on from the accident, Emily and Karl met at Birmingham Donor Centre.

Before the meeting Emily said: "I’m quite intrigued about meeting Karl. It doesn’t feel odd at all. I want to give him a big hug and say thank you.

"Obviously I wouldn’t be here without blood donation. If you don’t have blood you don’t live."

Karl said: "It’s an amazing experience to meet someone you’ve helped and hear her story."

After a chat Karl and Emily’s partner Neil Bravington joined other donors at the centre and gave blood together.

Karl said: "Men’s blood carries something which allows it to be used for a lot more blood-based products so it’s important that men get out there and donate as much as they can.

"Every time I go to donate from now on I’ll think that this is something that will change another person’s life."

Why we need more male blood donors like Karl

Men can donate more often than women

Men can give blood every 12 weeks whereas women have to wait 16 weeks between donations to protect their iron levels.

As men can donate more often, increasing the number of male donors makes it easier to supply the almost 5,000 donations needed every day.

Men’s blood is really useful in treatments for burns, accidents and cancer

Men’s blood often contains fewer antibodies than women’s blood.

This makes it easier to use in blood products such as plasma and platelets.

Platelets and plasma are often used to treat people who have burns, cancer or have been in an accident.

Feeling inspired?

Become one of the 135,000 new donors we need this year and start saving lives like Emily’s.

Get started by registering as a blood donor

Did you know?

Currently around two thirds of all new donors are women.

Share your blood story

Blood donation produces amazing, lifesaving stories every day. 

Share your blood story today.