Help save a tot like Chloe - Campaign

Chloe Gray
Chloe Gray
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BECOME a lifesaver for Chloe.

Today, the Echo is making a heartfelt plea to readers to give the gift of life.

Our Chloe’s Call-Up campaign is asking readers to sign up to give blood to help keep little Chloe Gray and other sick babies alive.

The 14-month-old battler, who suffers from Diamond Blackfan Anaemia (DBA), has to have a life-saving blood transfusion every four weeks.

Parents Francesca Gray and Craig Bowser are pleading with people to become donors.

Francesca, 20, of Plains Farm, said: “Without donors, Chloe wouldn’t be here.”

Today we launch our Chloe’s Call Up campaign to get readers to take time out to donate the life-saving blood that keeps their precious daughter alive.

The couple know all to well the importance of being a donor after 14-month-old Chloe was diagnosed with a devastating blood disorder.

Brave Chloe’s battle for survival began in the womb, when a 20-week scan revealed she had fluid in all her vital organs.

Tests showed little Chloe was severely anaemic, and at 22 weeks she underwent her first blood transfusion while still in the womb.

Chloe’s second life-saving transfusion took place when Francesca was 28 weeks pregnant.

And after being born five weeks premature, weighing just 4lbs 10oz, the tot had to have a full blood exchange, which saw all of the blood removed from her body and replaced, to keep her alive.

At four-weeks-old the battler, who suffers from Diamond Blackfan Anaemia (DBA), underwent a blood transfusion.

And since then, her parents have had to take her to Sunderland Royal Hospital every four weeks for transfusions to keep her alive.

Francesca, 20, said: “Chloe is O Rhesus Negative, which is a rare blood type. With her having to have all of the blood transfusions, we know how important it is to donate blood.

“We didn’t realise how important donating blood was until we had Chloe, and they are really short of blood, so it’s so important that people come forward to donate.

“I still keep thinking that one day Chloe will get better, but I have to tell myself she will never get better and we have to get used to knowing this.

“Donating blood is really easy to do and doesn’t take long. Each pint donated really does save a life.”

Craig, 27, added: “For something that will take just minutes and could save our daughter’s life and other babies’ lives, it’s well worth it.

“The blood stocks are really short and they desperately need more. Please help save a life and sign up to this campaign.”

Chloe will need to continue having blood transfusions until she is strong enough to undergo the bone marrow transplant she needs to live past the age of 40.

But medics have said she is too weak to survive the chemotherapy that would follow the transplant.

It may be another 10 years before she is strong enough to cope. Pam Prescott, of NHS Blood and Transplant which co-ordinates the blood donations, said: “We realise that people have busy schedules over the summer when the schools break up and families go away on holiday.

“We would urge anyone who has ever thought about donating to make an appointment to give before they go.

“It can be easy to forget about appointments to donate blood, but we are asking you to attend if at all possible and if you can’t come then please let us know.

“We need to collect almost 13,000 units of blood every year in Sunderland to help patients in local hospitals, so if you can’t keep your appointment, then we need to make sure we can offer it up to someone else.”

For the full article, see today’s Echo.