This National Blood Donor Week (June 12 – 18) a 29-year-old mother of twins is advocating for more blood donors to come forward after one of her newborn sons desperately needed blood transfusions to save his life.
Jodie Lewis and her partner Niall Trew from Gilfach Goch, were told during a routine scan at 26 weeks that one of their babies had an issue with blood flow resulting in Jodie spending the Christmas period in hospital.
On 2 January, Jodie was rushed into theatre for an emergency C-Section after one of the baby’s hearts stopped beating.
Following the birth of twins, Frankie and Jax, the complications continued. At just four days old, the twins were separated as Jax was transferred to the University Hospital of Wales for specialist treatment.
Jodie said, “I felt like I was missing a part of myself, and the boys were missing that important opportunity to bond with one another. It was heartbreaking knowing they were apart.
“It was nearly two weeks before they were finally reunited. To have the babies back together at that point was an immense relief.”
This reunion, however, was brief as baby Jax was experiencing signs of anaemia and wasn’t responding to medication. Jax was given a lifesaving blood transfusion at just three weeks old to treat his condition. Further blood tests revealed a low haemoglobin level with Jax struggling to create his own blood cells, which led to a second blood transfusion being given two weeks later.
Jodie said: “It was hard feeling so helpless whilst our babies needed so much medical intervention to get better.”
Both boys have since recovered from their treatments and are now fit and healthy and enjoying their time together with mum, dad and the wider family.
Jodie’s partner Niall said: “To see the boys growing every day is a blessing and I will never take it for granted. I look forward to our life as a family and all the things we are going to be able to do together.
“I really can’t express my gratitude enough to the donors who helped Jax. I am so grateful for you allowing my boy to thrive.
“Thanks to their generosity I am looking forward to sharing my very first Father’s Day with both my boys.”
Jodie added: “I would like to say to people, please just do this amazing thing. Make a life-changing blood donation. You really don’t know how important this could be to a family or individual.
“To whoever the donors are that Jax received the blood from – we appreciate you so much and will be forever grateful.”
Alan Prosser, Welsh Blood Service Director, said: “Every day, around 350 donations are needed to help the 19 hospitals in Wales we supply, including Prince Charles Hospital, where Jax received his transfusions.
“As a Service, we rely on the generosity of people living in Wales to provide vital donations to patients, and around 5,000 blood donations each year are used due to childbirth.
“By giving up just one hour of your time, you have a unique opportunity to support patients like Jax who rely on transfusions to survive.
“National Blood Donor Week is an opportunity for blood services across the UK to raise awareness of the lifesaving importance of blood donation and encourage those who have never donated to give it a go.
“Sharing stories like Jodie and Niall’s highlights the true value of just one blood donation and the difference it makes, not just to the person receiving the transfusion, but also to their family. Thanks to our donors Jodie and Niall can look forward to those special milestones that all parents plan in those often sleep-deprived but precious early years.”
Book a lifesaving donation at welshblood.org.uk or call 0800 252 266 today.