Mum who has serious illness visits and thanks plasma donors for Plasma Donation Week
A mum whose serious illness is treated by plasma medicine has visited the Reading Plasma Donor Centre to thank staff and donors during the first ever Plasma Donation Week.
Emma Stone, aged 37, of Lower Earley in Reading, visited to show support for the week’s theme of pride in our donors.
Plasma is made into a medicine called immunoglobulin, which strengthens or stabilises the immune system. It’s used to treat more than 50 diseases.
NHS Blood and Transplant has invited people like Emma to its three donor centres for its new Plasma Donation Week – the first ever - to help celebrate the 12,000 life-saving plasma donors who have come forwards since donation to the NHS restarted in 2021.
Emma said immunoglobulin medicine worked ‘like a miracle’ after she developed the rare autoimmune disease chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP).
Over around six months, Emma went from experiencing pins and needles in her hands to frequently needing a wheelchair to leave the house.
Her immune system was attacking the nerves that send signals to her muscles.
CIPD is progressive and people can permanently lose mobility in their arm and legs.
Emma, a beautician and a mum of two, said: “It was very scary and it was very traumatic for my children to see.”
Emma was diagnosed in January 2022 and had intensive treatment with immunoglobulin soon afterwards.
Emma said: “The treatment was like a miracle. Within about four weeks it had made a huge difference and I could move almost normally again. It was amazing.”
Emma now receives regular infusions at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
She said before her visit: “I can’t wait to visit the centre and meet some of the staff and donors. They are wonderful people, they have given my kids their mum back. I want to thank people in person, they are making such a difference.”
You can donate plasma in Birmingham, Reading or Twickenham.