Derek Louttit, from East Kilbride has worked as a paramedic for the Scottish Ambulance Service for twenty three years. However, in 2013, Derek was saved by 70 blood and platelet donors.
"In March 2013 I was suddenly diagnosed with acute myloid leukaemia, and blue-lighted to the hospital. On that same day I was given my first of many blood transfusions. Without treatment I would have had six weeks to live: however, even with treatment the doctors said I had a real fight ahead of me, with 60% chance of being alive in two years time.
"I spent most of the next five months in haematology, undergoing intensive chemotherapy at Monklands Hospital, in Lanarkshire. Although after the first cycle of chemotherapy I was technically in remission, but I still needed another 53 to complete the treatment.
70 people have saved my life. I am so very grateful to every single one of them.
"We worked out that between March and July, I had 40 red cell transfusions and 30 platelet transfusions. This means at least 70 people have saved my life. I am so very grateful to every single one of them.
"Over this time I also started writing a blog for the cancer charity Bloodwise, which is still on the web. My wife started giving platelets and now gives blood.
"By the September I was back at work, part-time at first, which is just amazing considering everything that happened. I’m happy to be back full time again now, supporting Scotland’s patients, encouraging people to give blood, and volunteering as a patient ambassador for Bloodwise.
"The first Christmas after I came out of hospital was extra special, and it couldn’t have happened without blood donors. I would like to ask everyone over the age of 17 to give a really special gift this year, if you can – to give blood. Help other patients enjoy more amazing Christmases with their families."
To sign up as a blood donor, call us on 0345 90 90 999 or fill out ouronline form.