v Hearts This Saturday, as Hearts come to visit, the Community Initiative brings supporters the chance to join a campaign to give blood, and donate to the Intensive Care Unit at Ninewells Hospital. This is a cause close to the heart of Paula Laurence, and below is her story. At a little more than six months pregnant Paula Laurence was fit and healthy and could not have ever imagined what would face her. Paula suffered from a placental abruption, where the placenta comes away from the uterus and which led to amniotic fluid being carried around her bloodstream, effectively poisoning her. The first thing that happened was that she blacked out followed by a fit leading to a coma. At home with her husband Frank, he called an ambulance which rushed her to hospital for a brain scan as nobody knew what was wrong but it soon became clear it was the baby. With her blood pressure so low she was unable to breathe for herself Paula was put on life support and her family advised she was unlikely to make it through t he night, which she defied the odds to do. Sadly her baby boy wasn't so lucky and the only option was to induce labour whilst Paula was still in a coma. 8 hours later Ben was delivered. Again her family were told to expect the worst but somehow days after slipping into a coma Paula woke up, although she remembered nothing of her trauma. She had to be told that Ben had died, that she had been unconscious for more than 30 hours and had needed a blood transfusion of 13 pints which ultimately saved her life. Intensive care had not seen such a case before. The following day Paula met her son for the first and last time, holding a christening for him followed by a small funeral. The 30th April will mark the 10 years that have passed and of Paula's survival of a dreadful trauma and she wanted to mark the occasion by finding 13 people to give back the blood that she was so lucky to get as her transfusion stops her from being able to do so herself. Using the Facebook page Ben's Day to spread the message Paula's friends began to share the page which quickly led to an amazing response with over 170 joining the page and people Paula had never met wanting to help. Ben's Day began as one date for people to say they would give blood but it was quickly obvious that one day would not be enough and Ben's Day quickly escalated to 3 days with over 70 people donating from Dundee, Kirriemuir, Kirkcaldy, Irvine, Edinburgh, Manchester and even as far as Australia. Sponsorship for the blood drive to collect donations for the intensive care unit at Ninewells was set up as Paula believes without their amazing care she wouldn't be here today. Many local companies have already offered their support including Mail Boxes Etc in Union Street who kindly printed off and helped to design leaflets to promote the blood drive. Paula has been so amazed with the response that she is now holding a fundraising evening on the 4th of May in Lyrics where lots of the gifts donated by local companies will be auctioned and raffled for the donation to the intensive care unit. Again the response to the fundraiser has been brilliant with many businesses getting involved such as Scott Brothers, the Apex hotel, Boots, Sally's, Gracie's, the Tapas Bar in Broughty Ferry and The Open in St. Andrews.Gwen Fenton at the blood transfusion centre said, "Every minute of every day someone somewhere is receiving a blood transfusion. Without blood donors, hospitals simply could not operate. The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) always needs new blood donors and we would very much like to welcome you. Blood is needed for lots of reasons. A&E wards depend upon blood donors for emergency situations. Many cancer and leukaemia patients need regular blood transfusions as part of their treatment. However, only 5% of people in Scotland are blood donors. Paula first shared her story with us on our facebook page (Give Blood for Scotland), when she set up Ben's Day hoping to get 13 donors to donate replacing the 13 units she received, over 50 people have signed up to Ben's day. Help us by signing up now." Paula said, "When I opened the Facebook page, I never dreamt I would get such a response from people from all over. I was looking to get 13 people to give back what I was given and I've been able to that 5 times over and it has just made me want to get as many as I can. So many friends and family are into football and I thought it would be great to attend a game and hopefully encourage more people to give. People don't usually think about giving blood until something happens to a loved one or someone they know so I thought it would be a good chance to let people know how important it is, especially the younger crowd who may not have anyone close to them who might be dependent on getting blood and thought that helping save so many lives would be a great way to remember my little one who wasn't so lucky. So many people have got involved in Bens Day and the fundraiser, and those who can't give blood can still get involved by making a donation to the fund for intensive care so everyone can do something. Anyone who would like to sponsor the blood drive can do so through PayPal at email address email@example.com or at RBS bank account number 00289574 sort code 831812.
Source: Dundee Mad