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TELEGRAM SAVES LIVES: A transfusion gave premature baby a second chance

John-Derrick responded well to blood transfusion after he was born prematurely. Contributed photo
John-Derrick responded well to blood transfusion after he was born prematurely. — Contributed photo

Infant received great care from a Newfoundland nurse in Florida

Editor’s note: The annual Telegram Saves Lives campaign runs this year until Oct. 24. As part of our efforts to encourage people to give blood, we’re running a series of letters from people whose lives were changed by blood donation. Anna Patten of St. John’s wrote this one since her son, John-Derrick Hancock, is too little yet to tell his own story.


My name is John-Derrick and I am eight months old. I had a very dramatic and scary entrance into this world, as my parents tell me. Mommy and Daddy went on a five-day “baby moon” in early February to St. Petersburg, Florida. On the third day of their vacation, I decided that I needed to enter the world very quickly at just 28 weeks.

While my entrance was not expected by anyone, not even the doctors that morning, I was ready! I came out tiny, but I was a fighter! John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital took great care of me. My nurse, Carolyn Kelly, who also happens to be a Newfoundlander, was overseeing my care and made sure I was growing and healthy.

On March 10, I got really sick. Carolyn and her team sprang into action to give me the care I needed. She said I needed a blood transfusion. Mommy and Daddy were really scared to hear this, but if that was what was needed, then that’s what we were going to do. Within 24 hours of my blood transfusion, I was starting to come around.

Because someone decided to donate blood, they helped to save my life. I’ll be forever grateful to all the wonderful people who take the time to donate blood.

Canadian Blood Services needs to collect 14,000 units of blood and blood products annually in Newfoundland and Labrador.
To book a spot, go online at www.blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE

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1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

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