Born and raised in Kilkeel amidst the beautiful Mournes, I am a married mum of four, three boys and one girl. Whilst pregnant with our first son I discovered that I had low platelets, a count of about 100 but this fell throughout to around 70/80 in all four pregnancies.
On 20th February 2010 I began the process of being induced in Daisy Hill Hospital. I’m not sure just how my low platelet count was that morning. That afternoon we welcomed our little girl into the world weighing a perfect 8lbs weight. A lovely surprise to have a little daughter and sister to her three big brothers.
Unfortunately retained placenta caused a large haemorrhage that day and after many painful and frightening hours my body started to close down due to loss of blood. I vividly recall the feeling, the room filling with people, the change in body temperature, the pain, the foil blanket, the unknown. Perhaps most of all the look on my husband’s face and the worried glances of the midwives.
Losing so much blood was literally like deflating, withering away in the coldest of places, no ordinary cold though. This was chilling. I was helpless at this point and my life hung in the balance. I could hear them query where the blood was? Perhaps they didn’t have my less than popular rhesus negative blood. What then?
Those hours went on forever. The bleeding did ease thankfully. But amidst it all I could see my little bundle sleeping peacefully, oblivious in her daddy’s arms. But then, then another visitor arrived into the room, with blood. Much needed blood! Not my blood group but another suitable type. As the units began filling my veins I felt the warmth come back to my body. It was as if an artist painted the most vibrant colour to the most bleak landscape, or a beautiful vivid red rose blooming and thriving! I felt as though I was leaving this deflated state, and I was coming back to “normal “ again.
Over that 24 hours I received 5 units of blood. The days and weeks after we’re physically and mentally tough, but we made it! Our little girl is named Ellie which means “shining light” and she certainly was then and still is today.
Thanks to the people who give blood I am alive. My children still have Mum my husband still has a wife. I still have family! I think these people are called blood donors but I call them unsung heroes! Today, 8 years on I am forever thankful.