Born prematurely and then diagnosed with stage 4 chronic kidney disease, Rico had his first blood transfusion at six weeks old, and has needed them at regular intervals ever since.
Katie and Jack Thompson live in Lossiemouth with their three children Rico, Carmel and Skylar.
Mum Katie explains what happened when Rico was born. 'Rico was so tiny when we was born, he couldn’t have dialysis, and his little body was constantly battling infections. This all went in a vicious cycle and he extremely ill on many occasions, needing to be admitted to the High Dependency Unit at the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, and also Queen Elizabeth Glasgow Children’s Hospital.'
'During the times he was very sick Rico had to receive blood transfusions. The blood he received immediately boosted Rico. We knew it was helping in a medical sense, balancing his blood levels and fighting infections.'
'However, you could also actually see the colour come back into his cheeks and watch him visibly beginning to perk up, it was amazing to watch. I remember clearly on one occasion Rico was laying almost lifeless with no colour - then ten minutes later he was pink in the cheeks, standing in his cot and rattling the bars and waving to all the nurses going by.'
When Rico was two he started on dialysis, as his kidney function was almost non-existent. Then last year, when he was four, he finally had a kidney transplant, donated by mum Katie. His 21st surgical procedure was an immediate success.
We can’t thank blood donors enough for helping save our little boy and give him the strength to fight and live the life he leads now.
'Rico’s body took to my kidney straight away, but after such a huge surgery he still needed all the help he could get from blood donors. Rico received another transfusion, and it was one of the biggest differences I have ever seen. With Rico having good kidney function, getting a blood transfusion it was the biggest kick start – his colour and energy went straight up and it was a very emotional time for family.'
'Seeing Rico go from strength to strength was the silver lining. We can’t thank blood donors enough for helping save our little boy and give him the strength to fight and live the life he leads now.'
To register as a blood donor or to find out where your nearest donation session is, call 0345 90 90 999. Alternatively, you can sign in/sign up online.
Current blood stock levels across Scotland Monday 20 September