A Sydney Mother's Story: Giving Blood Saved Two Lives at Once – Hope 103.2

A Sydney Mother’s Story: Giving Blood Saved Two Lives at Once

When we think of who needs blood, possibly a car crash victim will come to mind but imagine your newborn needing a life-saving transfusion.

Listen: Hope Breakfast's Sam Robinson chats to Sydney mum Rachel Taufer about the impact of giving blood

By Hope 103.2Monday 19 Jul 2021Hope BreakfastStation News

By Ally Barnes

In 2015, a local Toongabbie mum found out she was pregnant with her fourth baby, a much planned for and wanted baby.

A week after seeing her OB, Rachel Taufer had a large bleed, and a bleed in the uterus was found. She was placed on bed rest. At her 19 week scan, she learned she had placenta accreta, which is where the placenta abnormally attaches to the uterine wall.

At 21 weeks gestation, she had a large bleed at home and was taken to the hospital via ambulance. Rachel and her husband Nathan were told that if their baby were to come now, they were too small to be saved. The doctors would work to save Rachel’s life but there was no guarantee she would survive.

Rachel stayed in hospital on strict bedrest, never leaving her bed except for going to the toilet or being wheeled to any scans, while bleeding continuously.

At 26 weeks and three days gestation, her body couldn’t take any more. She went into preterm labour, and quickly became septic. An ALS (life support alarm) was called on both Rachel and her baby, and a large team of doctors quickly assembled to save their lives.

Estelle was born blue and not breathing. She was manually resuscitated, intubated, and rushed to NICU where she would begin her long fight, staying in hospital for the following three months.

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Sydney mother Rachel Taufer for Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Hope 2021 campaign

“It is safe to say neither Estelle or I would be here today if it weren’t for the generosity of blood donors or the hard work and coordination of the Australian Red Cross,” – Sydney mum Rachel Taufer

During surgery, Rachel lost 5L of blood and crashed as her blood pressure dropped due to the blood loss. She received 14 units of blood and blood products – a doctor was always on the phone to the Red Cross ordering products as she continued to bleed out. Rachel was given adrenalin to keep her heart going.

The following day, several hours later, she awoke in ICU strapped to a bed and intubated, arterial and central lines in place. She was handed a photo of her daughter.

Rachel stayed in ICU for three days. She saw her baby five days later and held her a few days after that – a week after she was born.

Sydney mother Rachel Taufer for Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Hope 2021 campaign

Sydney mother Rachel Taufer for Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Hope 2021 campaign

During her time in NICU, Estelle suffered all the regular complications of an extreme premature baby. This included needing blood products. She received two transfusions over the course of her stay.

Hear the full conversation from Hope Breakfast in the player above.

Sydney mother Rachel Taufer for Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Hope 2021 campaign

Sydney mother Rachel Taufer for Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Hope 2021 campaign

“Blood Expert” Allison on Hope Drive

Do you know your blood type? Many of us would be familiar with the A B O system for grouping blood types, and that some types aren’t compatible with others. Allison Gould is one of Lifeblood’s “Blood Experts” and explains why giving a patient the right type of blood matters so much, and other vital information about giving blood.

Listen: Allison Gould chat with Laura Bennett on Hope Drive (5:59)

Giving Blood is Essential, Will Get You Out of the House and Saves Lives!

Sam Robinson giving blood 2021

By Sam Robinson

Feel like there’s not much to do in lockdown? Giving blood is an essential activity that will get you out of the house and saving lives.

We often hear that there is a need for blood donations, but Jemma Falkenmire from Red Cross Lifeblood shared with Hope Breakfast that at the moment, new donors are needed to step up.

“Unfortunately we only have a very small percentage of the [Australian] population donating blood – it’s only three per cent,” Jemma said.

“And when we do hit winter and COVID lockdowns, we do find that that very small pool of people who mostly keep blood supplies flowing to the hospitals.

“Some of those people can’t donate. So we really need new people to step up and donate.”

Listen: Jemma Falkenmire from Red Cross Lifeblood shares the need for blood donations with Sam Robinson on Hope Breakfast (6:40)

Many Red Cross Lifeblood centres are extending their hours to make it easier for people to donate. And, being an essential activity, it’s completely COVIDSafe.

“Our donor centres are very, very safe places,” Jemma said.

“We have extra cleaning and temperature checks, social distancing – just to make sure that everything happening inside is 100 per cent safe for everyone in there, and of course the blood as well.”

Giving blood will take only an hour of your time, includes a free health check, and the actual donation takes around ten minutes. You get to enjoy some scrumptious snacks afterwards too. Best of all, you’re helping others and you’ll later receive a text sharing where your donation goes.

“We need donations every day, and there are hundreds of patients in hospital every day who need blood transfusions for things like cancer treatment, also accidents and emergency, and there’s also children with blood disorders. We need lots of donations every day of the week.”

Join Team Hopeland and give blood this July and save lives in the process! All the details are here.

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