SURVIVOR: Dr Olivia Bell is calling for blood donations in the Christmas and new year period.
SURVIVOR: Dr Olivia Bell is calling for blood donations in the Christmas and new year period. David Barwell

Doctor calls for donors: ‘It saved my life’

WITHOUT life-saving blood, patients like Dr Olivia Bell wouldn't be able to share their stories.

The Bellingen-based mother-of-three was diagnosed with breast cancer this year and last month received a vital blood transfusion following complications during surgery.

"It was a 10-hour surgery and I lost a lot more blood than I realised," she said.

"The complications resulted in a critically low haemoglobin and in total I received nine units of blood - the most I've used with patients is two units.

"I have used the blood bank for years as a doctor but never expected to need it in this way as a patient.

"It saved my life."

Now Dr Bell is on the road to recovery, she has made it her mission to pay it forward by helping other people who face similar life-threatening illnesses.

She called on people who were considering donating blood to book an appointment.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service says the Coffs Coast needs more than 150 blood donations between Christmas and new year.

The blood donations are vital to the treatment of cancer patients.

To make an appointment, phone 131495 or visit www.donateblood.com.au.



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