blood transfusion servive On Saturday April 27, Dundee FC Supporters’ Society entertained Paula Laurence and volunteers from the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service at Dens Park as part of the Community Initiative. Paula set out to encourage others to give blood as part of Ben’s Day, which took place on April 30th. Ten years ago, Paula suffered an amniotic fluid embolism resulting in her son being stillborn, and leaving Paula in a coma for a few days. Paula received thirteen pints of blood, and on the tenth anniversary of this event, looked to encourage at least thirteen people to donate blood to replace what she was given.
picture courtesy of Derek Gerrard The Society spoke to Paula after her visit, to see how the day had gone. ‘I decided to do a sponsored blood drive, and my friend Jacqui Robertson suggested I come along to Dens, get some more people involved, and get involved in the Community Initiative. Ten years ago I had an amniotic fluid embolism, my son was stillborn, and I was in a coma for a couple of days, I was really lucky to survive. I was on a life support machine and was given a blood transfusion, I pulled through, and I had always said I wanted to do something to give back.’
So far, the response has been amazing, I started Ben’s Page on facebook, and now over a thousand people have visited the page, and so far, over 100 people have given blood, so the response has been amazing .The visit to Dens will definitely help, getting more people involved in it, the fans have responded really well to it, and the more people we can reach the better, especially if we can get some of the younger supporters involved in it. Also getting to speak to a different set of people helps, it’s mostly males, and that helps. It has mostly been women so far, so to get the guys involved, as well as younger people is great.’
picture courtesy of Claire Auten
‘I don’t think people maybe realise how important it is to give blood, nobody really thinks about it that much until something happens to someone you know, or in my case, to yourself. I never really thought about it, and now, I can’t give blood because I have been given a transfusion, so it is so important, and people don’t realise how much.’
‘I think Ben’s Day is a good thing because it is making people realise the im portance, people are going to give blood for the first time, and they are finding out it is not as scary as some people think it is.’ The day at Dens was really good; everything about the day was great. The atmosphere was really good, and the fans have been fantastic, they have really got involved, taking leaflets and chatting away, and all the staff at Dens were really lovely, making us feel really welcome. The highlight was getting a cheer from the crowd as we were given ball and shirt, it brought a tear to my eye, and of course, the fact we won helped.’ ‘The day was really well organised from start to finish, we were directed where to go and what to do and felt very looked after, we didn't once feel out of place or uncomfortable with what we were doing. I can’t thank Jacqui enough for everything she did organising everything before hand, and on the day, and making sure we were well looked after. She does an amazing job. The top and ball will most likely be auctioned off at the fundraiser on Saturday and we collected around £50 at the game which will go to the fund for intensive care, the fans were very generous.’ Jacqui said, ‘It has been a really special two years to me doing the community initiatives, so it seemed particularly appropriate that for the final charity, it would be something close to my heart too. Everyone enjoyed the day at Dens and it meant so much to me to do something for my friend and to help spread the important message of giving blood.’ Paula and I have been friends for many years and we've talked about Ben many times but this has been a real education hearing her story properly for the first time and seeing the incredible job she has done with Ben's Day. I know Paula never imagined her drive to get 13 people to give the blood back that she got to save her life would ever turn into something so big, and that is credit to her, her big hearted personality and how much her and Ben's story have touched people's hearts. I can't say how proud I am of her; I hope that many others will continue to give blood in not only Ben's memory, but the memory of anyone who has ever needed blood.’
Source: Dundee Mad
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