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“Thank you for letting me have some of your blood”

Six-year-old Seb meets his life-saving blood donor

Not many donors meet the recipient of their blood, but that’s what happened when Andrew Spence, 43, met Sebastian Cockerill, 6.

Seb was born by emergency caesarean section at 25 weeks. His bone marrow was not mature enough to produce enough red blood cells to keep him alive so he needed several life-saving blood transfusions. One of these was Andrew’s O negative blood.

Seb and mum Helen, 41, from Sudbury in Suffolk, met up with Andrew at a park in Luton. Seb gave Andrew a big hug and presented him with a card that said, ‘To Andrew, thank you for letting me have some of your blood’.

Recipient Seb meets his blood donor, Andrew

A tearful meeting

A tearful Helen showed Andrew photos of Seb when he was born and they both visited the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital where Seb was treated.

Seb says, “The blood was in Andrew’s veins and it’s gone into my veins. People should go and donate blood and save lives like Andrew did to me.”

Andrew, from Corby, Northamptonshire, started donating through work and has given blood more than 30 times.

He says, “The day was fantastic - what an amazing emotional experience. Seb and Helen were wonderful. He truly is a remarkable young man.

Seb shortly after he was born with his mum, Helen

Critical care

“Being a dad myself, and seeing the premature babies receiving critical care at the neonatal unit, brought it all to life and why being a regular O negative donor is so important.”

Helen, Seb and AndrewHelen says, “Seb was absolutely thrilled to meet Andrew and he has asked a couple of times now when we will see him again. Seb would not have survived without Andrew and the other donors.

I don’t think people understand how important O negative blood is. Family members of people who are O neg - please go out and get tested.”

Helen, who is O positive, became a blood donor herself after Seb’s transfusions, and one of her units was subsequently issued to Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.