WITHOUT regular blood donors, little 16-month-old William Reilly would not be alive.
In his short life, William has had 31 blood transfusions and 21 platelet transfusions and three buffy coat (a blood product) transfusions.
The Reilly family travel from their home in Pirron Yallock to attend the Royal Children’s Hospital at least fortnightly, sometimes weekly, for the procedures.
Mum Anna Reilly said William was diagnosed with bone marrow failure when he was three weeks old.
At a recent morning tea Mrs Reilly thanked the regional business representatives whose staff regularly donate blood at the Warrnambool Blood Donor Centre. She shared her family’s story with the audience and reminded them of the important gift they and other blood donors had given to William.
“Because so many people give blood and because he’s received so many blood products, it gives us a chance to thank people for doing it because (otherwise) we wouldn’t have him,” Mrs Reilly said.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service community relations officer Carol Barnden-Bond said the morning tea was also a chance to celebrate the contribution of local businesses.
“When you have a recipient, someone who’s been affected by it, it just hits people. I cry every time I hear someone’s story, they’re so selfless. What they have to go through and they’re so appreciative of people giving blood, it’s just lovely,” she said.
“We have lots of workplaces that have their employees come in. These people work tirelessly to get everyone from their businesses to donate.
“You’ve got places like Bunnings and (Warrnambool) Cheese and Butter, they’re big employers. We really reach into quite a few areas of the community.
“There’s more scope for businesses to come on board as well and we will be driving more businesses to get involved next year.”
During the post-Christmas and New Year holiday period the Warrnambool donor centre will be open Thursday, December 27 from noon-7.30pm; Monday, December 31 from 11am-3pm and Wednesday, January 2 from noon-7.30pm.
To make an appointment call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au