'Need for blood never takes a holiday': Canadian Blood Services issues urgent request for donations

·2 min read

Colette Willock nearly died after giving birth to her daughter, but donated blood helped bring her back to life.

Others may not be as lucky.

Canadian Blood Services (CBS) says there's an urgent need for blood donations in Canada, including in Saskatchewan.

CBS said in a news release that Saskatoon needs more than 730 donations and Regina needs more than 650 — all before Jan. 4.

CBS said it especially needs platelets, which expire after seven days. Platelets are a vital blood component that many people living with cancer or a blood disorder may need for treatment.

'It could happen to you'

Willock, a Saskatoon resident, said she experienced a postpartum hemorrhage after giving birth to her daughter about a year and a half ago.

She said she was taken to hospital and treated with medication but had two more hemorrhages after that.

Willock was booked for surgery a week after the initial hemorrhage, but more complications arose.

At one point, she passed out at the hospital and a code blue emergency was issued, she said.

When she came to, she was getting a blood transfusion from multiple donors — something she said saved her life.

Now, she's trying to get more people donating, whether they're first-timers or experienced donors.

"Blood donation is really important to me and my family because without it, I wouldn't be here to be a mom for my daughter," she said.

Submitted by Canadian Blood Services
Submitted by Canadian Blood Services

Willock said she never thought she would need donated blood.

"I'm really quite healthy, so it was a bit surprising," she said.

"It could happen to you. It could happen to one of your loved ones. So, as long as people are always donating and continue to donate, then someone that you know may receive that blood."

Willock said it's especially important to donate amid the pandemic and holiday season, since many people aren't donating as much.

"The need for blood never takes a holiday. It's always needed," she said.

She also had a message for people who are thinking about donating for the first time: it's not as hard as you think.

"The whole team there is just awesome. It doesn't take very long. It's a super relaxed, chill environment."

More information on how to book a donation appointment, along with COVID-19 precautions CBS is taking, can be found on the organizations website, app or by calling 1-888-236-6283.