Campaign aims to get more blood donors in Portsmouth

Portsmouth NHS organisation promotes Stay Well This Winter campaign

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A MUM whose son was born at 25 weeks wants to encourage people to sign up as blood donors.

Leo Limerick, from Gosport, weighed just 1lb 10oz when he was born and needed an urgent blood transfusion. Now aged 11, he is full of energy and excited about starting secondary school.

Blood donation is an amazing gift and transfusions save lives in Portsmouth every day.

Mike Stredder

His mum Lisa is backing the NHS Blood and Transplant campaign to get more people signed up as donors.

She said: ‘Leo is nearly 11 and he starts secondary school in September.

‘He loves life. He loves music, especially singing and he’s obsessed with Elvis at the moment – and apart from asthma he is totally fine.

‘He goes to netball on Wednesday, and stage school on Saturdays.

‘Blood donors are amazing. I can’t give blood due to having cervical cancer so I want to spread the word.

‘I am so proud of everyone that donates and wish you could all see what a difference you have made to our lives.’

The Missing Type campaign is raising awareness on the decrease of people giving blood for the first time.

Nationally, since 2005 the number of first-time blood donors has dropped by 24.4 per cent. Last year in Portsmouth 3,874 people gave blood at least once. Twelve per cent were aged 17 to 24 with 47.4 per cent aged 45 or over.

Mike Stredder, director of blood donation, said: ‘Blood donation is an amazing gift and transfusions save lives in Portsmouth every day.

‘Whether it is patients receiving treatment for cancer, blood disorders or new mums who lost blood in childbirth, blood is an absolutely essential part of modern healthcare.’