Nettie’s story

Cardiff parents say ‘thank you’ to donors who helped their little girl

A mother and father whose daughter received blood products after major surgery at six weeks old is using World Blood Donor Day (June 14) to say a big ‘thank you’ to blood donors across Wales.

Nettie, now 20 months old of Llandaff, received one unit of platelets, a product found within blood, at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital to support her recovery from major surgery.

Her mother, Alice Spencer, said: “If it wasn’t for blood donors our daughter might not be here with us today.

“We can’t express how grateful we are for those who take the time to give blood to help patients in Wales, just like our daughter when she was in need.”

Both parents were familiar with the blood donation process as they are keen donors themselves. Nettie’s father, Ryan Spencer, said: “When I gave blood I never fully understood the difference I was making until our daughter needed a transfusion.

“To think just an hour of someone’s time has made such a difference is incredible.

“We’re sharing our story in the hope that by reading this, more people will consider giving blood in the future, knowing the difference it’s made to our family.”

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.

Click here or call 0800 252266 to check your eligibility and book an appointment.