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04 November 2016

Pauline's story

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Pauline needed an emergency caesarean section to save her life - and her baby's.

Pauline was 34 weeks into her pregnancy and suffering from indigestion when she went for a routine check up. The nurse was concerned that Pauline was pale, so carried out a range of blood tests.

When a consultant came to speak to Pauline and her husband, they discovered Pauline was experiencing something far more serious than indigestion. HELLP syndrome - a variant of pre-eclampsia - develops during the third trimester of pregnancy, and was causing Pauline’s body to reject their baby. She was told her organs were shutting down and the only ‘cure’ was to give birth.

I just hadn’t appreciated the difference one blood donor could make. Pauline

By this time, Pauline’s platelet count was extremely low, and needed to be increased before she could safely have a c-section. Two units of platelets were rushed to Pauline through the heavy snow from a blood bank 90 minutes away, and she received another two units during surgery.

Baby Thomas arrived at 11pm, weighing just 3lb 12oz. Pauline didn’t wake up from anaesthetic until the early hours of the morning, and it was a whole day before she was able to meet her little boy, wheeled through the hospital on her bed. Thomas was in intensive care for the first two days and then transferred to neo-natal high dependency. In total he spent five weeks in hospital and weighed 5lb when he left.

Pauline said, “The people who gave their blood saved Thomas and my lives, and I cannot thank them enough. However, because I’ve had a transfusion, I can’t give blood any more.

“If you’re fit and healthy, I’d like to ask you to sign up to give blood - it could mean the difference between life and death. I wish I’d done it when I had the chance – I just hadn’t appreciated how much difference one person could make.”

  • To sign up as a blood donor, call us on 0345 90 90 999 or fill out our online form.

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