Di Bell thanked for blood donations on 50th anniversary of discovering Anti-D

DONATION TIME: Di Bell with Port Macquarie Donor Center Manager Liz Matson on Tuesday. Photo: Ivan Sajko
DONATION TIME: Di Bell with Port Macquarie Donor Center Manager Liz Matson on Tuesday. Photo: Ivan Sajko

Local blood donor, Di Bell, is being thanked this week for her continued Anti-D blood donations which are saving the lives of unborn babies.

Her regular blood donations are reducing the risk of Haemolytic Disease of the newborn, by allowing mothers at risk to have special injections to counteract a mothers negative blood type to an unborn babies positive blood type, which left untreated can be fatal to the baby.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Anti-D medicine that has revolutionised childbirth, with just one donation of Di Bells’s blood creating 30 doses of medicine to help women who need it most.

“I started donating blood six years ago, but once I realised that my blood was a special kind, I decided to donate plasma every two weeks, as well as blood every three months,” Mrs Bell said.

“After a few donations it has become a routine thing that I do, and it is really easy to ring up and book an appointment.

“Everyone in the center is really lovely and after the donation you get to have a drink an relax.”

While  Anti-D is given to mothers during pregnancy, the injection will only last for one pregnancy and if the women was to fall pregnant again, another injection would be required.

“The best part about donating is that in the week or so after, you get a message to say thanks and the text sometimes also says where my donation went to help people, which is really great,” she said.

Blood Service spokesperson Jemma Falkenmire said that Mrs Bell’s blood was rare and thanks must be given to her.

“Australia owes Mrs Bell and those in our community who donate plasma, a big thank you, and its time for more people to come forward and give plasma,” Ms Falkenmire said.

“Make the time to give blood and plasma, it is so important and once you begin to donate regularly it becomes routine,” Mrs Bell said.

“You hardly feel the injection or the blood being taken, and before you know it you are relaxing with a milkshake and sausage roll.”

The Port Macquaire Blood Service are looking for people to donate blood over the October long weekend and have also started making appointments for over the Christmas period.

To donate blood please call 13 14 95.