Peterborough Mum Urges Blood Donors To Keep Appointments
6 December 2016, 07:39 | Updated: 6 December 2016, 07:47
Kayleigh's four-year-old son, Rylan (both pictured, with Rylan's sister Ava) needs regular transfusions because of a condition inherited from his dad.
Hereditary spherocytosis means his spleen attacks his red blood cells, because they're a slightly different shape to usual.
Rylan has needed blood transfusions since he was four weeks old, and is treated at Addenbrooke's Hospital.
Kayleigh told Heart: "We pray he doesn't need a transfusion just before Christmas time, because we know how low the blood stocks are.
"It's scary to think we might take him to hospital and there might not be enough of his blood type.
"I appreciate it's a busy time of year, and people come down with 'flu and colds - but do please try to keep your blood donation appointment.
"To a family like ours, it means everything. I rely on the kindness of strangers to keep my child alive.
"It was amazing to see the difference in Rylan, the first time he had a transfusion, I remember sitting there, looking at him and thinking without these amazing people, my boy wouldn't be here now. They will always be in my heart.”
The NHS tells Heart that around a third of appointments remain unbooked in December. Over the festive season, approximately 24,000 appointments to give blood are also missed.
Cambridge Donor Centre, Long Road, Cambridge CB2 0PT is open Monday to Friday and some Saturdays and Sundays.
To book an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk, use an NHS Give Blood app or contact us on 0300 123 23 23.