The mother of a little boy born with an incurable heart disease has urged people to back a new drive for blood donations.
Christine Wilson’s said blood transfusions are the “only option” for her “little warrior” to continue “enjoying the life he loves”.
She was speaking at the launch of the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service’s special summer donor week, which begins today (Monday, June 10).
A spokesperson for the service said: “Blood only has a limited shelf life and is used in numerous ways, perhaps going to a child with leukaemia, a mother during childbirth, a person undergoing routine surgery, a person with cancer, or someone involved in an accident.
“But blood donation also changes the lives of many others, not just the transfusion recipient. Think of the the wife, husband, son, daughter, sister, brother, family or friends who now continue to have their loved one in their lives. Blood donation is straightforward and makes a huge difference, highlighted recently by Christine Wilson’s story.”
Christine’s son was born with an incurable heart disease and his treatment requires multiple surgeries.
“He has had four surgeries to date, the first one as an emergency after a cardiac arrest,” she said.
“Frankie has also needed blood and blood products post-op on a few occasions. This all sounds very harrowing but it is Frankie’s only option to carry on enjoying the life he loves.”
She continued: “Frankie is O negative, so it’s doubly important that people with this rare blood group donate. My little warrior has received a lot of blood in his first year but is such a happy boy.”
A spokesperson for the blood transfusion service said: “Although the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service relies on regular donors it also needs 115 new donors every week. If you are a donor please bring a friend, family member or colleague with you to a local donation session to help boost our stocks.”
New donors can also enrol by texting BLOOD to 60081, calling 08085 534 666, or visiting www.nibts.org. The website has a section for checking donation eligibility, as well as details of upcoming donation venues.
The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages also contain further information on blood and platelet donation.
The spokesperson added: “Please, give a little and help a lot.”