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Parents of five-month-old boy who received lifesaving transfusions are encouraging more people to donate

Parents of a five-month-old baby who recently received lifesaving blood and platelet transfusions is calling for more people to become blood, platelet and bone marrow donors with the Welsh Blood Service to help more patients in need.

At just under three months old, Noah needed two blood transfusions when his blood count dropped, and continued to receive several platelet donations whilst his condition was being diagnosed.

Chris Gibbins and his partner, Leah Peachey from Pontypridd, first noticed baby Noah was unwell at just under three months old and rushed him straight to A&E, suspecting he had meningitis.

A few days later, baby Noah was referred to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff, where he was diagnosed with two blood disorders, autoimmune neutropenia and immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).


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Outlining Noah’s treatments so far, Chris explains, “At 5 months old, Noah has now had 2 blood transfusions, at least seven platelet transfusions, two intravenous immunoglobulin infusions, three immunotherapy sessions and has undergone surgery to have a Hickman line fitted for vein access as well now as his weekly injection for ITP.”

“Noah’s blood was unable to clot efficiently, so he was at risk of internal bleeding, so the platelet donations he received really did save his life.”

"As a family, we cannot thank every single donor across Wales enough. These heroes have selflessly given up their time to support patients in need, and to put it simply, there is no alternative product when someone like my boy needs blood. Thankfully the blood was there, ready for him when he needed it the most."

Chris Gibbins

Every six minutes, thanks to blood donors, one unit of blood is issued to hospitals in Wales to treat patients, but only three per cent of the eligible population in Wales are active blood donors, which is why it is vital new donors continue to come forward.

These donations play an important role in supporting a range of treatments, from helping recovering accident victims and patients with blood cancers to supporting mothers and newborn babies during childbirth as well as patients like Noah.

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Alan Prosser, Welsh Blood Service Director, said: “Noah and patients like him rely on the generosity of people living in Wales to provide donations to patients. We hope that by sharing his story it will help raise awareness of the importance of donating blood and the positive outcome it has for someone in their greatest time of need.”

“During this time of year, when people are busy enjoying the weather and taking a well-earned holiday, the number of donations drop compared to the rest of the year, but the demand for blood continues. For some holiday goers some countries also mean there’s a delay before they can get back to donating, like Italy, parts of Spain & France, as donors must defer for a minimum of four weeks, and elsewhere it can be longer, which is why we’re encouraging people to give before they go.

"If you've never donated before, why not do something incredible this week and help someone like Noah. Sign up to donate at one of the sessions in your local area and become a lifesaver. Also, if you are 17-30, please consider signing up to the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry."

Alan Prosser - Welsh Blood Service Director

“By giving up just one hour of your time, you have a unique opportunity to make a difference to people in your community and beyond.

“For those who cannot donate, you can still become a Welsh Blood Service supporter. By sharing their social media posts, encouraging your friends, family, and colleagues to raise awareness of the importance of donating blood, platelets, and bone marrow, you can still help save a life.”