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17 September 2019

Lynsay’s story

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In September 2014, Lynsay decided to become a blood donor. Four months later, blood donors saved her life.

A Perthshire local, Lynsay is 31 and works as a solicitor. Growing up with a disability meant she was a regular at Ninewells Hospital since she was small, having undergone many surgeries over the years.

'In September 2014, there was a blood donation session at my work, and I was curious to find out if I could give blood or not - I'd always assumed I couldn't give blood because of my medical history but I knew how important it could be. I was also really keen to find out my blood type.

'I had to go through a fairly thorough screening process with one of the session doctors to find out if I could give blood or not. I still have to be very careful and will be on medication for life but at that point my condition had been pretty stable for a few years so I was really pleased when I was cleared and could make my first donation.

'However, things went downhill for me just before Christmas in December 2014 when I took unwell with what I initially thought was just a flu bug. Then, in what seemed to be a coincidence, in early January I started to suffer deterioration in my pre-existing condition.

 

Lynsay's wedding
Lynsay's wedding

'I woke up with a start one morning because some swelling on my leg had burst open and I was rushed into A&E at Ninewells. The doctors did an MRI scan on my leg and discovered a collection of poison which would need to be removed by surgery as soon as possible. I then had three operations in five days to clear out the poison and re-pack the wound.

'To make me strong enough for surgery I was given a couple of blood transfusions as well as some vitamin k and plasma. I believe I was also given more blood during the actual surgery too as the surgeons worked to clear out the poison. It transpired that I had had an infection in my leg which my body had been fighting for a few months without me realising, and during that time the poison kept building up. They had to pull out 1.5 litres of poison during the first operation. I was in hospital for just over three weeks and off work for around three months before starting a phased return.

Life is good and I’m very grateful. Lynsay

'My usual condition had masked a lot of the symptoms of pain, swelling etc which was why it was a bit more dangerous in my case and wasn't picked up on initially. By the time I got sick at Christmas my body was shutting down, everything internally was a bit haywire and without the blood transfusion I wouldn't have been strong enough to have the surgery. I was so lucky that the poison didn't enter into my bloodstream as if it had then I wouldn't be here anymore.

 'So, I can no longer give blood but have a far greater appreciation for the importance of it. I honestly wouldn't be here without the great care from the teams at Ninewells and the help of the blood transfusions that got me through surgery. I'm still not back to where I was before this all happened as it has had a lasting impact on my general condition. However, I got married two months ago and actually managed to walk down the aisle which was huge for me, plus I have a great job with a supportive employer.

'Life is good and I’m very grateful.'

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

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