Family praises donors for saving their daughter’s life

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:11 04 July 2017

Lillie Christie with mum Nikki, older sister Katie and dad Richard.

Lillie Christie with mum Nikki, older sister Katie and dad Richard.

Archant

A family from Burnham is appealing for more people to donate blood after transfusions saved the life of their three-year-old daughter.

Lillie Christie, who is now seven, had 10 blood transfusions in two years due to a severe drop in the haemoglobin levels in her blood.

Her dad Richard Christie said: “She had her first blood transfusion in 2013 when she was just three.

“They gave her a blood transfusion which perked her up for six months.

“Then in the summer of 2014, every six weeks her haemoglobin would drop to dangerous levels so she then had a further nine blood transfusions.”

The condition has not recurred since July 2015, but doctors have not been able to say what caused it.

Mr Christie said: “They did bone biopsies to see what the cause was but couldn’t find anything. They said it could be transfusion-dependant anaemia.

“It’s a relief it hasn’t happened for a while, but the worry is that it will happen again if she picks up a nasty infection.

“If it was a known condition, we could raise awareness of it, but because we don’t know what it is we’ve decided to raise awareness about blood donors; if it wasn’t for blood donors she wouldn’t be around.”

Lillie has check-ups every six months to make sure her haemoglobin levels are at a safe level.

Her mum, Nicola, her dad Richard and her sister Katie, aged 10, are now appealing for more people to sign up to donate blood.

Lillie also has an antibody in her system which means blood has to be pre-treated otherwise it will be rejected.

Mr Christie said: “We are so grateful to blood donors. They saved her life.

“It’s a completely selfless act.”

NHS Blood and Transplant needs 200,000 new blood donors each year to ensure patients have access to the blood they need.

There are currently 4,474 donors in North Somerset, but there is a particular need for more young people to give blood as more than half of the donors in England are over 45.

To sign up as a new donor or to book an appointment, visit www.blood.co.uk or call 03001 232323.

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