Monday, 7 May 2018

Help Save a Life.

When I was 17 and applying for my provisional driving license, I distinctly remember receiving a leaflet alongside the form, asking for young people to sign up for blood donations. I'm pretty sure I rang the following week and booked in my first appointment. Over the years, I managed to make 9 donations. I so wish this was more, but without all the excuses, life got in the way. I probably put it off more than I should have but I'm so proud to say I helped save someone's life with those donations. 

In January, after losing 9 litres of blood, I received 16 pints. That's 16 separate donations, from 16 incredible people. Alongside the blood I also received two bags of plasma and two bags of platelets, also donated selflessly from strangers I will never meet. The only reason I am here today is because of those donations. Without people taking a small amount of time from their day to book and appointment and donate, people like me wouldn't survive. Those people are the reason Violet still has her Mama and Jonathan still has his wife. 

 Just to put into context, this is what 16 pints looks like! Image from Google.

If you've never been before the whole thing takes around 20-30 minutes. That's from arrival to finishing your donation. It's a really simple process, from signing a form, having a little pin-prick blood test to ensure you have enough iron to donate and then you're ready to donate. The time it takes for donation varies from person to person, but it's usually between 5-10 minutes. After that you're all done and ready for your drink and biscuits! There is a whole page here about the process. 

There is a lot of information on the NHS Blood Donation website, around who is eligible to donate and where your nearest donation centre is. You can find it all here and can register online too. And if you'd prefer to speak to a human, you can call on 0300 123 23 23. 

I am incredibly grateful and lucky that this blood was available for me. And I hope by raising awareness and sharing my story I can encourage people to go and make a donation and help save someones life. 

Katie xx

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