Mother of twins urges more people to become lifesaving blood donors

Mother-of-two Bethan Dyke is advocating for more donors to come forward after receiving lifesaving blood transfusions due to complications following the birth of her twins.

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Bethan and partner Craig Keohane from Tonyrefail discovered they were expecting twins early in 2022. Late on in the pregnancy, after baby Ella’s growth rate slowed, a specialist from the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff made the decision to deliver the twins through a scheduled caesarean section.

Although earlier than planned, Bethan gave birth to two healthy babies, Isaac and Ella, at the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil. Reflecting on the day, Bethan said:

“When they were delivered, I was overcome with emotion and a sense of relief that they were both fit and healthy. We couldn’t have been happier parents.”

Minutes after the birth complications began for new-mother Bethan.

She continued: ‘’Whilst Craig and I held the babies, the medical team proceeded to complete the operation, which is when the atmosphere in theatre started to shift, with more and more nurses and doctors entering.

“It was around this point the babies were taken from me, and Craig was asked to leave the theatre.’’

Following childbirth, Bethan lost around three and a half litres of blood, which is over half of her body’s blood. The medical team quickly worked to stabilise Bethan and intervene with several blood transfusions to help save her life.
Thankfully, Bethan made a full recovery from her surgery and was quickly back home with Craig and the twins, enjoying family life together.

Speaking of her experience, Bethan said: “I am so grateful for those donors who donated blood prior to me needing those all-important blood transfusions. Without them and the quick response of the medical team, the outcome of that day may have been very different for myself and my family.”

Every day, the Welsh Blood Service needs around 350 blood donations to help the 19 hospitals in Wales, including Prince Charles Hospital, where Bethan received her transfusions.

Alan Prosser, Welsh Blood Service Director, said: “We need 5,000 donations a year just for mothers and babies during childbirth – that’s thousands of mums and babies who will have had improved outcomes, often lifesaving, thanks to the generosity of our donors. By giving up just one hour of your time, you have a unique opportunity to support mothers like Bethan who rely on transfusions following birthing complications to survive.

“Mother’s Day is an opportunity for us to raise awareness of the lifesaving importance of blood donation and encourage those who have never donated to give it a go.

“Sharing Bethan and Craig’s story highlights the true value of just one blood donation and the difference it makes, not only to the person receiving the transfusion but also to their family and loved ones. Thanks to our donors, Bethan can look forward to those special milestones as a family with Ella, Isaac and Craig.”

To learn more about donating blood, platelets, and bone marrow, or to book a lifesaving donation, visit www.welshblood.org.uk.

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