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The Day Strangers Saved Jess' Life

Tuesday 10th Jul 2018

After experiencing a burst artery in her stomach, Jess experienced extensive internal bleeding and needed 21 units of blood, 8 units of plasma, and 5 units of platelets to survive. Today, Jess is more determined than ever to make people aware of how important and life-saving plasma donations can be.

Jess had lost half her blood from internal bleeding before she realised just how sick she was. It all started when she went to the doctor with what she thought was the flu. Two days later, she was in an ambulance with a burst artery in her stomach. Needless to say, she’s forever grateful to the many donors it took to save her life.

“For people to show you that you’re worth being here, and allow you to do more with your life, especially when they don’t even know you – that’s huge.”

“I started to feel sick on Wednesday, and by Thursday night it really started to hit. My ability to comprehend things declined, I felt completely disoriented. I wasn’t able to walk, or even crawl.” That’s when an ambulance was called. “When I got to hospital, they discovered an artery had burst in my stomach and I’d lost half my blood.” She was raced in for emergency surgery and placed in an induced coma.

Jess woke up in intensive care with a fresh scar, and 30 units of donated blood running through her veins. “It didn’t take me long to embrace my scar – it’s a badge of honor. It reminds me to be grateful.”

A year after surgery, Jess transformed her gratitude into positive action. She put the call-out to her friends and family to donate blood or plasma, vowing to run a kilometre for each donation made. She ended up running 22 kilometres! “It was my way of showing my gratitude, of thanking people for donating.”

Perhaps you, too, will roll up your sleeve and save a stranger like Jess. “Dear donor, thank you for giving up minutes of your life to add years to mine – someone you don’t even know. No words could ever describe just how grateful I am.”

The need for plasma is constant, and it’s easy to donate. Learn more about donating plasma.