First-time blood donor Donna Holleman holds a unit of her own blood at a recent blood donor clinic in Mission. First-time blood donor Donna Holleman holds a unit of her own blood at a recent blood donor clinic in Mission. / Submitted Photo

Teen’s death inspires local couple to give blood for the first time

Next blood clinic in Mission is on Oct. 14, Thanksgiving, at Cedar Valley Mennonite Church

When Dave and Donna Holleman’s seven-year-old niece Hailey Kane contracted a virus in 2008 it caused heart failure.

Her life was saved through the administration of many different blood products. She recovered enough to go home to Halifax, on medications for the next 10 years

But in July, 2018, she suffered heart failure which led to two open-heart surgeries and one stomach surgery.

She suffered internal bleeding and was administered more than 40 units of blood, as well as platelets and other blood products.

The treatment saved her life while she waited for a heart transplant. On Oct. 27, 2018 her life support system failed and she passed away, just a week before her 18th birthday.

Hailey’s death inspired her friends and relatives to sponsor blood drives in Brockville and Kentville in Nova Scotia and now in Mission.

Dave and Donna encouraged their friends to donate blood at the mobile clinic in Mission on Sept. 16. They both became first-time donors. The next clinic in Mission is on Oct. 14, Thanksgiving day, in the lower hall of Cedar Valley Mennonite Church, from noon to 3 p.m.

Long weekends often translate into a higher number of accidents on the road with a greater potential of injuries requiring blood transfusions. Blood has a short shelf life and people with type O-negative blood are especially needed. Donated blood lasts no longer than 42 days.

Making an appointment to donate has never been easier. To book an appointment, check your eligibility, and more, download the Give Blood app, call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or visit blood.ca. Walk-in appointments are also available.

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