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Wanted: Blood donors to help save those like little Ruby

The seven-year-old and her family front major drive to keep supplies high over the summer.

Ruby Pearson is only seven, but has already undergone numerous life-saving blood transfusions.

The first was when she was just eight weeks old after her parents took her to hospital complaining that she appeared jaundiced.

It would soon transpire she had hereditary spherocytosis, in which blood cells are defective.

Lifesaving: Ruby (left) with sister Millie, has had numerous transfusions.
Lifesaving: Ruby (left) with sister Millie, has had numerous transfusions. Scotblood

Ruby and her family are now fronting a major drive to make sure blood supplies don't drop over the summer.

"Ever since that day, Ruby has had one or two transfusions every year," her mother Lisa Rae, from Bathgate, said.

Last year, the youngster had four blood transfusions before a splenectomy in a bid to control her condition.

"They had to remove her spleen to stop the need for transfusions hopefully and to stop her being so jaundiced," her mum explained.

"Ever since the splenectomy she's been getting on really well, she's not had a transfusion, her skin is a better colour as well.

Ruby before her operation.
Ruby before her operation. Scotblood

"The first thing she said when she woke up from her operation was that she had pink hands, she's never had pink hands or rosy cheeks."

As the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) launched Blood Donor Week on Monday, leading up to World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) on Friday, the family also paid tribute to Scots who have helped keep their little girl alive.

Ruby's dad Darren Pearson said: "If it wasn't for these people, Ruby would likely be dead."

Her mother added: "Life is just so much better. We will be forever grateful."

Blood supplies can drop by up to 20% during the summer holiday period and SNBTS is asking Scots to know their blood type and regularly monitor the Scotblood website so they can ensure they donate should supplies of their group drop.

During the summer, more than 450 blood donors are required to donate every day.

Ruby's family are calling on more people to donate blood.
Ruby's family are calling on more people to donate blood. STV

With eight different blood groups, the SNBTS is currently asking people with the blood group A+ to make an extra effort to donate.

Each blood donation can be split into three separate parts red cells, platelets and plasma and by giving blood, donors can potentially save up to three lives.

Lynne Willdigg, associate director of donor and transport services at SNBTS, said: "In Scotland we are thankful to all our blood and platelet donors who ensure patients will always receive the right blood product at the right time .

"There are eight different blood groups, and we aim to maintain a five to seven day supply of each one at all times. Our focus is to ensure that we consistently meet patient needs, and to this end we work closely with hospitals to forecast that demand.

'A+ is Scotland's second most common blood group, so we must welcome 121 donors with this blood group every day.'
Lynne Willdigg, SNBTS

"This means that we can provide donors with a greater level of detail about how their donation is needed.

"For example, A+ is Scotland's second most common blood group, so we must welcome 121 donors with this blood group every day.

"Currently, A+ is sitting at four days supply, so it is just below the desired level of five days.

"This is why we are asking A+ donors to come forward now and ensure supplies remain at healthy levels throughout the summer period."

To register as a blood donor or to find out where your nearest donation session is, call 0345 90 90 999, or visit www.scotblood.co.uk

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