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How plasma donations changed Jake’s life

Tuesday 10th Jul 2018

At just 16, Jake suffered from Toxic Shock Syndrome. After spending several days unconscious in hospital, he was given a blood transfusion and a lot of plasma. It was that plasma helped to neutralise the deadly bacterial toxins in his body, and ultimately saved his life. Here’s his story.

When Jake lay unconscious in a hospital bed at 16, it was plasma donations that would ultimately save his life. Jake hadn’t been in an accident, and he didn’t have a disease. He had a bacterial infection attacking his hip – a painful stroke of bad luck. Looking back, Jake believes the experience helped him see the generosity of people who donate plasma.

Jake’s plasma story began with a few aches and pains in his legs and hip; pain he thought was just muscle cramps. But when it became so bad he needed an ambulance, his whole life changed. Jake was rushed into emergency surgery to clear out bacteria that was eating away at his hip.

When Jake made it to intensive care for recovery, things got complicated. The bacteria in his body began releasing deadly toxins into his bloodstream. Jake was diagnosed with the life threatening illness, Toxic Shock Syndrome. For the next three days, Jake drifted in and out of consciousness, and there was a strong likelihood that he may not pull through.  

Thankfully, plasma was available to save his life – a lot of it. Jake’s doctors used plasma products to help neutralise the deadly bacterial toxins in his body and ultimately saved his life

It would take a hip replacement to get him back on his feet, but Jake has since hit the ground running, bringing awareness to the power of plasma. He runs an annual donation drive, Donate For Jake, to do his part in upping donations year after year. But his efforts don’t stop there -- Jake shares his story in talks for the Lifeblood, inspiring young people to donate. While his experience was painful, it changed his perspective on life. He uses this experience to mentor young kids in his sports coaching business – inspiring them to take opportunities and not sweat the small stuff.
When it comes to the power of a plasma donation, Jake sums it up perfectly; “Thank you for showing me generosity when I needed it most. When you donate, you never know whose life you’re going to save. Thank you, dear donor, for saving mine.

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