Mums say, "Thank you!"

This festive season, three mums remember how blood donors gave them the gift of life

Sebastian today

Saving the lives of premature babies

Around six per cent of donations are used to treat blood loss during childbirth, so when Helen Cockerill’s donated blood was sent to the same hospital that saved her son Sebastian’s life, it felt like everything had come full circle.

Sebastian was born at just 25 weeks and treated at Luton and Dunstable Hospital over many weeks. He needed multiple blood transfusions to keep him alive.

Fast-forward five years and Sebastian is happy and healthy and now in his second year at school.

“He loves all things Lego and spending lots of time playing with his friends and cousins,” says Helen.

“I couldn’t hold him until day 19. It is so amazing to see (him now) after such a frightening start to his life. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that my blood could now be saving the life of another premature baby.”

O negative

In an emergency, if a patient’s blood type is unknown, O negative blood is used. That’s why it’s called ‘universal’: it can be given to anyone.

But O negative donor Ginny Walker became a recipient following the birth of her second child. She suffered a severe haemorrhage and lost three litres of blood. Three transfusions saved her.

She says, “Despite being O negative and giving blood, I never gave it much thought, but after my incident I’m so very, very grateful that I was able to receive blood quickly – it saved my life.

Thank you so much to blood donors and all the staff who have helped me to be here for my family.”

Ginny with her newborn
Katherine and her daughter

December drama

The anonymous generosity of blood donors holds a special poignance for Katherine Ramsey, especially around Christmas. She gave birth to her daughter last December after being induced, but, “terrifyingly” for her and her husband, she started to haemorrhage shortly after.

She says, “The hospital was unable to measure all my blood loss but what they could measure was over two litres! I needed three units of blood to help with my recovery. I am so grateful to be here with my daughter – she is a miracle.

I just wish I could find out who my blood donors were to thank them personally! But to all those reading this who are blood donors, you are incredible people and true heroes. Thank you.”