By Matty Sutton
A WOMAN whose life was saved by blood transfusions has launched a campaign to get more people donating blood.
Sheryn Ali, 34, was hospital-bound for weeks as the rare blood disease, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, attacked her system and threatened vital organs.
Now fully recovered the Slateford woman, who works as a learning and development consultant, is to front a new drive to persuade others in the Lothians to sign up after her life was saved by the donations of others.
She is urging as many people as possible to donate to the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, which needs 14,000 new donors in the Lothians and Fife this year alone to meet demand.
“I was never a blood donor, even though I always thought to myself that I must get round to doing it. “
“I think my dad has given something like 120 pints in his life, which is probably about the equivalent to what I used up during treatment. “
The first sign of the disease, which is thought to only affect 60 people in the UK at any one time, were a feeling of tiredness and the appearance of purple bruises on her limbs.
Her GP sent her to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where she was diagnosed with TTP, the extremely rare disease that usually affects black women.
“The doctors said I was seriously ill, and had I gone ever a day later I could have done some serious damage to my organs. “
As part of her treatment she received the platelet and plasma transfusions which saved her life.
“I want to raise awareness for blood donation because I just wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for donors. “