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Daughter's Highland blood donor plea after mum's life saved twice

By Andrew Dixon

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Jean Phillips.
Jean Phillips.

"If it hadn’t been for blood donors, I could have been without my mum for 40 years," says Nicola Ross.

The 48-year-old, from Avoch, has a Christmas wish for more people to donate blood over the holidays.

Inverness Blood Donor Centre is open throughout the festive period and needs to welcome over 200 donors through its doors during that time.

Nicola explained how her mother Jean Phillips' life has been saved twice by blood donors.

"My mum had issues with clotting but didn’t know about it until the birth of my sister," she said. "Unfortunately, we lost my sister. Mum continued to haemorrhage afterwards, so she required blood transfusions to save her life.

"Knowing this, it had always been in the back of my mind to become a blood donor, but I was terrified of needles. It wasn’t until I met my other half, Michael, that he encouraged me to go along. We’ve been attending our local donation sessions in Fortrose together ever since. We’ve got lots of doctors and nurses in the family and Michael used to be a rescue diver, so we know all too well how important blood donations can be."

Nicola added: "Again, 10 years ago, mum relied on blood transfusions during surgery to have a pacemaker fitted. When I think about it now, if it hadn’t been for blood donors, I could have been without my mum for 40 years now. I can’t begin to imagine what that would have been like."

Dr Sylvia Armstrong-Fisher said: "During the festive season, donations can drop off as people are busy seeing friends and family, and spending time celebrating. But the need for blood does not take a rest.

"NHS Scotland is always busy, with cancer care, A&E and maternity wards all still running – and people like Nicola’s mum who have heath issues mean things could become very serious very quickly without blood transfusions.

"Inverness Blood Donor Centre is open throughout the festive period, including Boxing Day, December 28, December 29 and January 2. We aim to welcome at least 200 people over this period. There are still lots of slots available that we need to fill."

Inverness Donor Centre is based at Raigmore Hospital, and you can book an appointment online at www.scotblood.co.uk, or by calling 0345 90 90 999, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.

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