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I Received Blood
Every expectant parent is full of emotion – wonder, hope and anticipation, and I was no different. I enjoyed a healthy, complication-free second pregnancy, and was able to work right up until a week before my baby was due. After months of excitement and preparation, the whole family was looking forward to meeting their newest family member.
Right on schedule, following a relatively straight forward birth, my second son was born weighing in at 7lbs 3oz (3.27KGs).
However, the memory of what followed still brings back raw emotion for me, as I recount how New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) and its amazing donors, changed that day. Moments before it had been full of joy and happiness, but the day could have so easily ended in tragedy.
Following my son’s birth, as the spinal block wore off, I was overcome by intense, unbearable pain. The doctors couldn’t find a simple explanation and it soon became obvious that I was bleeding heavily. I became pale but remained conscious. The doctors and nurses acted quickly, an emergency response team was called in and I was rushed to surgery. All I remember is everyone running and then later waking up in the Intensive Care Unit and seeing my extremely anxious husband next to me. Everything in between I've been told.
The surgeons battled to save my life, ultimately performing a hysterectomy to remove my uterus. In less than 12 hours I lost over four and a half litres of blood, which is roughly the same amount of blood that is contained in the average human body. 7 units of red blood cells, 2 units of fresh frozen plasma, 1 unit of platelets & 3 units of cryoprecipitate were administered to save my life.
While drastic measures had to be taken, my life was in safe hands. There are no words that say ‘thank you’ enough to everyone who donates blood, because without them my children would be growing up without a mum. I encourage people who haven’t donated before to consider becoming a life-saver. NZBS needs to maintain a regular and closely managed supply of different blood types at all times. Every day, without warning, people like me need blood.
To find out more about becoming a blood donor, call 0800 GIVE BLOOD.
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