Belfast Telegraph

Battling mum of ‘miracle’ baby in blood donor plea

By Maureen Coleman

This is the young mother and her miracle baby who owe their lives to the kindness of mystery blood donors.

Anne Mullan, who has a history of severe pre-eclampsia, was just 30 minutes away from death when she had to undergo an emergency Caesarean and urgent donations of platelets and blood.

As she lay on an operating table in Craigavon Hospital, four doses of platelets — every one in Northern Ireland at the time — and several units of blood were rushed from the headquarters of the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service with minutes to spare.

When Anne awoke in intensive care she was overjoyed to hear that her baby son Eoin had survived. Anne and her husband Neill had lost their first baby boy when he was stillborn in February 2007.

Little Eoin, who weighed a tiny 2lbs 7oz, was also given packs of blood.

Tonight, Anne and Eoin will be special guests at a Gold Award function at the King’s Hall, organised to celebrate the huge number of lives saved by blood donors from across the province.

Anne, a 30-year-old solicitor from Omagh, said she was eternally grateful for the blood donations.

“I have a history of HELLP, a severe form of pre-eclampsia where the blood starts to destroy itself, and last year we lost our first baby,” explained Anne.

“I realised I had a kidney infection, which I knew was a symptom of pre-eclampsia, and my blood pressure kept going up until it was spiralling out of control.

“By this stage I was told I’d have to have an emergency Caesarean and the doctors were practically pulling my clothes off to get me on the operating table.

“They also told me if I’d been 30 minutes later, both me and the baby would have died.”

The operation was delayed while four adult doses of platelets were ferried by ambulance from Belfast to Craigavon.

“I overheard them saying that they had to use every available adult platelet in Northern Ireland,” she said. “Whoever had donated them saved my life.”

Baby Eoin also received specially prepared neo-natal packs and an amazed Anne was able to watch his progress as he grew healthier and stronger.

“He was deathly white before the transfusion, but as I watched him, he got pinker and pinker and his eyes became brighter,” she said. “It was like watching a miracle unfold before me.”

Anne said both she and Eoin were fighting fit now and appealed to people to give blood.

“It is the most worthwhile thing you could so,” she said. “Without those donations, we wouldn’t be here today.”

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