Alison’s Story

A Newport woman who received two units of blood when she was pregnant with her daughter is using World Blood Donor Day (June 14) to say a big ‘thank you’ to blood donors across Wales for saving their lives.

Alison Powell, 49, received two pints of blood over a three-week period at the Royal Gwent hospital to support her recovery from complications with her placenta and a C-section.

Her daughter Lauren Palmer, now 25, also received some of the blood during the transfusion while her mother was pregnant with her.

Alison said: “I lost a lot of blood during pregnancy, which put us both at danger.

“If it wasn’t for blood donors, I wouldn’t have been able to give birth to my daughter, and I wouldn’t have been able to watch her grow up.”

“It’s humbling that people give up their own time to donate blood to a patient they’ve never met. I urge as many people as possible to donate and help to save lives, just like mine and my daughter’s.”

World Blood Donor Day is an international awareness day to thank voluntary blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. The day also raises awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.

This year, World Blood Donor Day falls during an international blood donor awareness campaign, Missing Type. During the campaign, organisations and individuals across Wales have united in dropping the letters A, B and O from their social media profile to raise awareness of the importance of the key blood groups.

Cath O’Brien, Director of the Welsh Blood Service said: “To us, every blood donor is a hero and World Blood Donor day is an important opportunity for us to thank them for their unwavering support.

“There are around 90,000 blood donors across Wales who have donated at least once in the past two years. Many of our donors routinely give at every opportunity with some reaching 50, 75 or even 100 donations!

“With one unit of blood potentially able to help up to three patients, these donors are having a major impact on people’s lives. Without blood donors, the world would be a very different place for patients.”

The Welsh Blood Service hosts over 1600 blood donation sessions across Wales each year, collecting almost 100,000 units of blood. Blood collected in Wales is supplied to 19 hospitals across the country.

Anyone interested in giving blood can visit welsh-blood.org or call 0800 252266 to book an appointment at a clinic near them.