Harper Loadsman, who was the beneficiary of life-saving blood donations, in the arms of her mother Jana with sister Mia while camping in Ballina.
Harper Loadsman, who was the beneficiary of life-saving blood donations, in the arms of her mother Jana with sister Mia while camping in Ballina.

'My daughter would not have survived without you'

"I JUST want to say thank you for giving us our daughter".

It wasn't just a transplant, but the blood donors who saved her life, said the mother of young girl born with liver disease, who spoke at a recognition event held at the Lismore Australian Red Cross Donor Centre on Thursday.

Jana Loadsman made the emotional thank you to a room of "local legends" from across the Northern Rivers, who have made between 50 and over 500 lifesaving blood donations over the years.

The event was organised to coincide with National Blood Donor Week (June 9-15) and there was not a dry eye in the room when Ms Loadsman told the story of Harper's harrowing first years of life.

Harper received many blood products during her treatment for a range of very serious medical issues including Alagille Syndrome, Biliary Atresia, and liver disease.

Soon after birth, she had an operation to remove her bile production organs.

She then required blood products to keep her well enough to have a liver transplant.

After the transplant a couple of years later, Ms Loadsman described how "amazing it was" during a blood transfusion that, "right there, someone else's blood was giving life to my child".

From then on Harper began to get better.

 

Australian Red Cross Blood Service, along with Jana Loadsman (centre) say thank you to donors at the Lismore Blood Centre during National Blood Donor Week. Back left to right - Anne Dries (BS), Rick Wagner, Angela Slattery, Janette Fuller, Kevin Williams, Paul Smith, Michael West, Leanne Archer (BS) Helen MacKander (BS)Front left to right - Rachel Milgate (BS) Joy Wagner, William Brener, Vicki Homann(anti-D donor)Kneeling/ sitting down - Helen Youngberry (BS), Linda Fisher, and Martin Grose.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service, along with Jana Loadsman (centre) say thank you to donors at the Lismore Blood Centre during National Blood Donor Week. Back left to right - Anne Dries (BS), Rick Wagner, Angela Slattery, Janette Fuller, Kevin Williams, Paul Smith, Michael West, Leanne Archer (BS) Helen MacKander (BS)Front left to right - Rachel Milgate (BS) Joy Wagner, William Brener, Vicki Homann(anti-D donor)Kneeling/ sitting down - Helen Youngberry (BS), Linda Fisher, and Martin Grose. Sophie Moeller

"Without your donations, Harper would not have survived to transplant and post-transplant," she said.

"You guys are the heroes in this, and I don't feel you get enough recognition for what you do.

"Without your donations we could not have got her to where she is today.

"She is four-and-a-half now and she is at school today, last weekend we went camping, she plays and loves life ... and you gave her that - you gave me my girl.

"She is thriving. Thank you so much from the whole family and every single family that you guys donate to, it is just amazing."

Manager of the Northern Rivers Red Cross team, Scott Morrison, also thanked the 55 local legends from across the region who have reached significant milestones as donors.

Kevin Williams recently moved from Melbourne to the region and has given either blood or plasma every fortnight for years to bring his count to more than 500.

He was inspired to donate due to a quote by Dr Karl which said: "You live to give".

"Only three per cent of the population are able to give blood. I do it because I can," he said.

Martin Grose, from Pottsville, also comes down to Lismore to give blood regularly. He was recognised for having donated 100 times and said it was stories like Harper's that made giving worthwhile.

Both agreed they always left feeling good after having donated.

According the Australian Red Cross Blood Service one in three Australians will need donated blood in their lifetime.

In the past year, Lismore's 3370 donors have donated 12,505 times, saving more than 37,000 lives.

"We need a new blood donor every five minutes in Australia. It takes just an hour of your time to donate blood, and every donation can help save up to three lives," Mr Morrison said.

For more information go to: www.donateblood.com.au



JM Kelly exec grilled about $300k transfer to self, family

premium_icon JM Kelly exec grilled about $300k transfer to self, family

JM Kelly Group financial controller shifted $340k to self, family.

Minister quizzed on impact of Adani for future mines

premium_icon Minister quizzed on impact of Adani for future mines

Adani has been dogged by claims the Carmichael mine will face significant financial...

DCTC has a 2020 vision after AGM

premium_icon DCTC has a 2020 vision after AGM

A full team of executive committee volunteers were confirmed at last week’s AGM...