Ollie’s Story

It's a big thumbs up for blood donors across NI from 4 year old Ollie this World Blood Donor Day.

When Ollie was born in June 2019 with a malrotation in his bowel, it was the start of a long and difficult journey with his health. After surgery to correct the issue with his bowel, Ollie spent 10 months in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

During this time, Ollie received the first of more than twenty blood transfusions which he would continue to receive over the next few years. By 2021, Ollie was surviving on blood transfusions every 3 weeks as doctors tried to discover the cause of his internal bleeding.

The in July 2022, it was discovered that one of the main arteries in Ollie’s bowel was blocked. Ollie continued to be in and out of hospital, and in December 2022, he suffered a massive hematemesis, vomiting and passing blood. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, where he received an emergency transfusion of the universal blood group, O- negative.

On 27th December 2022, Ollie underwent surgery to have a stent fitted to the artery in his bowel, which would get the blood flowing properly. He received his last blood transfusion in January 2023.

Since his operation, his mum Victoria says he has a new lease of life. Now, 4 years old, Ollie loves playing wrestling with his brother Carson and is looking forward to starting P1 in September.

Ollie is celebrating World Blood Donor Day 2023 and the generosity of local blood donors with his family and nursery school friends, who are all wearing red on the date. The local councils across Northern Ireland are also helping to mark the occasion to honour local blood donors by lighting up their buildings in red on the evening of World Blood Donor Day, Wednesday 14th June.

Victoria says: “To anyone who doesn’t currently give blood, my message to them would be do it! It is so quick and easy and every donation can save up to three lives. Ollie is one of many with blood group A+ positive which is becoming just as rare as O- negative. So, I plead, text BLOOD to 60081 to register now.
“I think back to the difference it made to Ollie, we knew when his levels were dipping as he would get very pale, tired and lifeless and the blood transfusions really sustained him and kept him going until we were able to get the problem rectified. He’s developing so much better and has so much more independence now.
“We never think it’s going to be us or a family member needing blood, but it happens. I now give religiously every 4 months because I saw with my own eyes the difference it makes. It’s thanks to the selflessness of blood donors that my little boy is now well on the road to recovery.”

Northern Ireland needs 1200 blood donors each week. Every donation can save three lives, just like Ollie Beverland. Please book your appointment today to donate.