Burley mum saved by blood transfusion appeals for donors

Burley-in-Wharfedale mum Lauren McDonnell, left, and Rebecca Willis, a knitting blogger, highlighting that blood doesn’t grow on trees

Burley-in-Wharfedale mum Lauren McDonnell, left, and Rebecca Willis, a knitting blogger, highlighting that blood doesn’t grow on trees

First published in News
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Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by

A Burley-in-Wharfedale mum travelled to a North Yorkshire town to support the finale of a campaign to highlight that blood doesn’t grow on trees.

Skipton was ‘yarnbombed’ with knitted blood drops to encourage O Rh negative (O negative) and B Rh negative (B negative) blood donors to give blood if they can in the next few days or weeks. More than 2,000 blood drops were used to create a spectacle in the town centre.

Lauren McDonnell, aged 31, of Burley in Wharfedale, went to Skipton to attend the yarnbombing event as she understands the importance of blood donors.

She received three units of blood in 2013 after suffering a heterotopic pregnancy. Lauren said: “I had a transfusion during surgery. It saved my life and means I am still here to look after my two-year-old daughter, Orlaith.

“Giving blood is such a small act that can make a massive difference to someone else's life. People that give blood are amazing.”

The event was also attended by knitting blogger Rebecca Willis – known as Granny Willis. The 18-year-old A-level student created the original blood drop designs which were then distributed for other knitters to follow. More than 8,000 knitted blood drops were made nationwide to support the yarnbombing campaign.

Donna Batty, NHS Blood and Transplant spokesman, said: “We hope decorating Skipton in this way will help draw attention to the need for us to encourage O negative and B negative donors to come and give blood if they can in.

“Stocks of these vulnerable groups are lower than we would like them to be and we are asking both O negative and B negative blood donors in particular to call us now on 0300 123 23 23 to make an appointment to donate.”

The yarnbombing campaign, which has been running across England and North Wales over the last month, is also helping to highlight the fact that NHS Blood and Transplant needs to attract new, young donors.

The number of people aged between 17 and 24 signing up to give blood has fallen significantly in recent years.

To register, visit blood.co.uk/trees.

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