Longbridge's Stephen says thank you by donating vital plasma - The Bromsgrove Standard

Longbridge's Stephen says thank you by donating vital plasma

Ryan Smith 8th Apr, 2022   0

A LONGBRIDGE man is celebrating one year of plasma donations for medicines after three of his family members received life-saving transfusions.

Stephen Brown’s son Jack, now 11, suffered multi-organ failure when he was just two years old due to streptococcus pneumonia-associated haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

His kidneys were becoming inflamed due to a bacterial infection, and Jack was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he received blood and plasma.

Stephen said: “It was a very scary time. When my son was ill, they could have stripped my body for anything they wanted.




 

You can now donate plasma for medicines. s

“It was someone who donated who saved my son’s life. So I am just happy to do whatever I can. I am going to continue as long as I am able.”


Stephen’s grandad Randolph was given blood transfusions during the last two years of his life, when his bone marrow was failing. His cousin was also in need of treatment after they lost a leg in a farming accident.

Donated plasma is made into medicines called immunoglobulins. For those with a rare, life-threatening disorder, these medicines boost and stabilise their immune system.

In 1998, plasma received from UK donors was banned from being used for immunoglobulin medicines due to the concerns over the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

In April last year the Government lifted this ban, with the first Birmingham donations of plasma for medicine being conducted on April 7.

More than 1,100 people in Birmingham alone have given 3,000 donations since then.

The donations are currently being stored and once a full manufacturing and supply chain is put in place, domestically produced immunoglobulin will be available.

A machine filters the plasma out of the blood, although it can also be recovered from blood donations.

Accountant Stephen used to donate blood and gave plasma for coronavirus research. Then, when the project restarted last April, he began donating plasma to medicines.

He added: “When I donate, I feel like I am repaying a debt for my son. I feel like donation is my duty.

“The plasma donation itself is fine. I’d given blood for years, so I knew it was not uncomfortable.

“You never know when you might need a donation yourself, and it helps other people when they need it.”

Kim Douthwaite, manager of Birmingham Plasma Donor Centre, said: “We’re grateful to Stephen and everyone else who has donated over this incredible first year.

“Plasma donation is new to most people, so try it if you can – you’ll help save lives.”

Visit blood.co.uk/plasma or call 0300 123 23 23 for more and to donate.

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