An Aberdeen couple whose premature twins owe their lives to blood donors have urged more people to get involved in giving blood.
Zoe Stewart, a training co-ordinator, and Paddy Kelly, a plasterer, were delighted when they found out they were expecting two bundles of joy naturally just after they had been referred for IVF treatment.
However, their delight soon changed to worry when Willow and Niamh arrived more than three months early.
The tiny sisters were born on January 3 and were so fragile that they had to be placed in a plastic bag to keep their bodies moist and warm.
They needed several blood transfusions to survive and spent their first nine weeks fighting for their lives.
Between them, the babies battled a bleed to the brain, a deadly bowel infection and holes in their hearts.
Niamh also had to be resuscitated when she stopped breathing a week before she was due to go home.
Now, thanks to blood donated by volunteers, both girls are fighting fit and at home for their first Christmas in Aberdeen city centre.
Zoe, 41, said: “A one-kilogram baby will only have 80mls of blood in them. Because they get constant blood taken for tests, they can’t make their own blood quick enough.
“This can cause anaemia and anaemia can cause bleeds on the brain.
“That’s why the blood transfusions are so important.”
Paddy added: “People give such a small bit of time to give blood, but that small bit of time is the reason why we are here and the girls are doing as well as they are.”
Four community blood donation sessions will be held across the region over the festive period.
There will be a session at:
- Tullynessle and Forbes Public Hall in Alford on December 19 from 4-8pm
- The Old Parish Church in Fraserburgh on December 29, 10.30am–12.30pm and 2–3.30pm; and
- Banchory Primary School on December 30 from 2–4pm and 5.30-8pm.
- The Britannia Waterside Hotel in Peterhead on January 3 at 2–4pm and 5.30–8pm.