A giant Thank You from those you’ve saved!

Patients who require regular life-giving blood transfusions and staff at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) have sent a big Christmas ‘THANK YOU’ to local people who will be helping to keep vital blood stocks healthy this festive season.

People rolling up their sleeves to give blood with the Norwich collection team in December will be greeted by a giant Christmas card full of messages of thanks from people who see the benefits of their donations on a daily basis.

Dianne Martin, from Bunwell, currently visits NNUH every 3 weeks where she receives around three to four units of blood. She suffers with myelodysplastic syndrome and aplastic anaemia which mean she is unable to effectively produce her own blood cells. For the last 15 years she has required regular top-ups of blood which have allowed her to lead an active life.

She said, “From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank donors for my life. Before I receive blood I am tired and am very breathless. After my visits to the hospital I just feel so much better. Without blood I would have been able to work, lead the life I have, or in fact be here today. “I can now look forward to spending time with friends and family this Christmas.”

Her message for blood donors this Christmas is simply ‘Thanks for giving me my life.’

Each unit of blood collected has the potential to help or even save three patients who are in need of a transfusion and more donors are urgently needed to give blood now.

Gareth Bell, Communications Officer for the NBS, said, “December is always a tough month for us to ensure blood stocks remain healthy but we have seen great support so far from donors. It is vital that we have enough blood to tide us over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays, but it’s equally important that donors give in the New Year to help boost our stocks which will without doubt dip.

“Winter illnesses such as colds and flu mean a donation must be postponed and with people busy visiting friends and family, or going away on holiday, the number of people giving blood can fall by as much as 10 per cent. Although the drop in the number of people giving blood may only sound small it can have a big effect on blood stocks.

“I would like to urge everyone to think hard about the difference you could make by stepping forward to donate. By giving up just one hour of your day you could be helping more than one person at their greatest time of need.”

Currently only 4% of the eligible UK population gives blood yet the National Blood Service needs to collect almost 700 units every week across Norfolk alone to make sure that patients in hospitals are able to receive the life saving treatments they require.

Anyone interested in giving blood can ring the National Donor Helpline on 0845 7 711 711 (open 24hrs) or visit www.blood.co.uk to register your details, find the venues and times for your nearest blood donation session, and book an appointment.

If you are aged between 17 – 59 years of age, in general good health and weigh over 7st 12lbs you could support the campaign, just call the Donor Helpline to find out more about where you can make your donation to help save someone’s life.

Monday 17th of December 2007 12:00:44 PM