Mum’s ‘amazing, once in a lifetime’ meeting with a plasma donor
A mum who needed plasma medicine to save her life, and help save her baby’s life, has met with a regular plasma donor.
Lauren Abery, 42, needed immunoglobulin medicine to stop her body attacking itself and putting her health, and her unborn baby’s health, at serious risk.
She met Carreen Johnson, 49, who is a regular plasma donor at London’s plasma donor centre.
Their meeting is shown in this heartwarming new video.
Lauren, an Executive TV producer, had a disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Her immune system started attacking her own platelets, tiny cell fragments which help the blood to clot.
Her platelet levels have at times dropped to less than one per cent of normal levels, which can lead to serious internal bleeds.
Without people like Carreen donating I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t have a healthy baby
She needed regular infusions of immunoglobulin, a medicine which contains the antibodies of plasma donors. The medicine helped her immune system to stabilise. Lauren received it through her pregnancy and baby Evie also received immunoglobulin after delivery in May 2022.
Lauren said: “I was so excited to meet Carreen. It really meant a lot to me. Whenever I had treatment, I thought about the people who donated.
“Without people like Carreen donating I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t have a healthy baby. The only treatment I seem to respond to very marginally is immunoglobulin. It’s lifesaving. It got me thinking about how I can help, and I hoped people donated plasma.”
Lauren told Carreen: “It’s so amazing to meet you that I don’t think I can put it into words.”
I would say to anyone out there to try donation - you are potentially saving someone’s life
Carreen, a maths teacher, who started donating plasma because a family member donated, said: “Meeting Lauren and baby Evie was amazing, really special. It brought the whole process full circle. You can see where your plasma goes.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience and Evie is gorgeous.
“Meeting Lauren just brought home even more how important it is to donate. It’s made me really try to recruit other people to get them to donate as well.
“I would say to anyone out there to try donation - you are potentially saving someone’s life. It gives an amazing feeling afterwards. I am lucky enough to be healthy and I can help other people.”
You can donate plasma in Birmingham, Reading, or Twickenham. Find out more about plasma donation