Competing thanks to you

Four incredible sportspeople showed their support for blood donation during this year’s Paralympic Games. They have all received blood. Here are their stories…

Paul Blake won gold in the 400m at Rio, a triumph of ambition and training. But his life began uncertainly. Paul, who has cerebral palsy, is a twin and in the womb suffered twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. This meant his brother, Alex, took nearly all his blood, leaving Paul seriously ill. He received his first transfusion at a few hours old; more followed. He said, “Blood saved my life, I can’t thank donors enough…they do an amazing job. Blood donors help people when they need it most.”


Mr Emrit

Nick Beighton needed blood after he suffered devastating injuries from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan. Thirty operations and 36 units of blood followed. But Nick has gone on to compete as a Paralympic rower at London 2012 and Para-canoeist in Rio 2016. He said, “I remember after I had come round…and my red blood cell count was very low, I could hardly see straight and I felt truly awful. (After) a blood transfusion I felt, literally, like I had come back to life. Everything was sharp and clear, an incredible feeling.”


Mr Emrit

Martine Wright lost 80 per cent of her blood when she was injured on the Tube in the 7/7 London bombings in 2005. A tourniquet stemmed the bleeding from her badly injured legs and saved her life but sadly both legs had to be amputated above the knee. Martine said, “Thanks to people who give blood, the blood I needed was there for me. I’ve done so much since then: got married, had my son, competed at the Paralympics (in the GB sitting volleyball team).”


Former soldier Corie Mapp doesn’t know how much blood he received after he lost both his legs in 2010 when an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan nearly killed him. But thanks to blood donors and the care he received, he survived. Now he’s involved in two para-sports, bobsleigh and sitting volleyball, and won gold for Great Britain in the inaugural World Cup Para-bobsleigh last January. Corie says, “Blood donors save lives. More donors are needed from the black community so I’d urge everyone to do their bit.”


In this issue of The Donor magazine

Breakthrough in the manufacture of platelets

What are you waiting for?

A chance conversation

It’s our 70th anniversary!

Give the best gift of all this Christmas

A day to remember

New text service is a hit