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Just Saying Thanks

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Asante's Story

Bay of Plenty

My son was admitted to Rotorua Hospital on his 5th birthday (New Years Eve just gone) with stomach and joint pain as well as a fever of 40.9C. As it turned out he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and required an immediate blood and platelet transfusion. His blood counts were so low he required these transfusions before we could be transferred to Starship the following day, New Years day. It didn't exactly occur to me then as my head was rather jumbled and lost in space, but it was the first time that at least 2 people possibly more had saved my sons life. Fast forward 6 months to the day, we found ourselves readmitted to Starship hospital as my son had contracted viral pneumonia. He had just finished the most intense, hideous phase of chemotherapy over an 8 week period. Therefore, as the Doctors warned his blood counts would drop dangerously low and he would have little to no white blood cells and become neutropenic (zero immune system). I hadn't envisioned pneumonia during this stage but was fully aware he was at higher risk of contracting a secondary illness. Asante spent 2 weeks in hospital and in that time he required 3 blood and 4 platelet transfusions. His little body couldn't cope with the virus and pneumonia and wasn't able to rebuild his blood cells fast enough and it blew my mind that he needed so many transfusions in such a short time. We recently returned home and while he is already back into his chemo his bloods have managed to recover - not in the normal range but to a point that he is no longer in isolation and he can continue along his treatment plan. A huge relief.

So in 6 months he has had 4 blood and 4 platelet transfusions. I don't know exactly how many people have donated their blood and platelets but it is at least 8 people and that blows my mind. There are at least 8 people who have helped save my sons life - I wish I could thank them personally but I will start by thanking the NZ Blood Service. I don't know what the future holds but I am going to thank everyone who donates in advance.The time you spend and the blood you donate is absolutely, positively saving lives - especially my boy who needs all the help he can get while he battles in the fight of his life. THANKYOU from the bottom of my heart. We are eternally grateful.