An upcoming blood donor clinic event has a special meaning for an area woman, who collaborated with Canadian Blood Services to raise awareness after her niece’s life was saved with blood donations.
On Oct. 29, at the Westlock and District Community Hall , Alice Arthur will be joined by her niece Krista Phillips who, earlier this year lost her daughter, Emily Shawna, at 32 weeks due to preeclampsia and a subsequent placental abruption which cut off the blood flow to the baby.
The preeclampsia also induced toxic health syndrome and disseminated intravascular coagulation, meaning Phillips’ blood was thinning and her organs were failing. This forced an emergency C-section to save the mother, which led to significant blood loss.
Phillips survived the surgery because she received 18 units of blood that day and three more while in intensive care.
Arthur said that the reason to host the clinic here is “to hopefully encourage people’s awareness of the importance of donating blood, and the benefits that come from it.”
And they include, as she put it, the balance between life and death for somebody like her niece.
“At the time when this happened, there was nothing we could actually do to support Krista or her husband, Shawn … We were so impressed because they actually stepped out of the normal mode of responding to crisis and decided to help other people by having a blood donor clinic in their community,” said Arthur.
The Phillips lost their daughter April 7, but by June 27 they were already set up with Canadian Blood Services to host a clinic in their Kingston, Ont. community.
“Because we chose to do this, it surprised them, they weren’t expecting it, and they wanted to support it,” said Arthur about the Phillips’ decision to travel to Westlock and be present at the clinic hosted by their aunt.
The clinic runs from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., but Arthur said this particular clinic might already be full.
Those interested in donating can go to www.blood.ca for more information.