A SUTTON teenager who was critically ill after contracting glandular fever has thanked blood donors for helping to save her life.
Gaby had to have two emergency operations in October to first try and save her spleen and a second procedure to remove it and spent eight days in hospital as well as four days in intensive care.
She is now recovering at home but has been able to return to Tibshelf School, where she sat her GCSE English Language this week.
Her mum Stephanie Corps says that her daughter’s life-saving operation was only possible thanks to people donating blood.
“Without a doubt, if she had not had a blood transfusion she would have died,” she said.
“I don’t think any of us know when it is going to happen to us, but absolutely anyone could need a blood transfusion.
“At first Gaby was showing all the classic signs of glandular fever, she was fatigued, had a high temperature and was listless, but we never expected what then happened.”
Gaby’s condition worsened after a week when she developed shoulder and stomach pains and her worried mum took her to King’s Mill Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department.
It was eventually diagnosed that Gaby had a rare complication of the illness which was causing her to be sick and affecting her spleen.
Doctors worked through the night giving her blood transfusions and she was eventually transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre, where she had a second operation to remove her spleen which was continuing to leak blood.
“She was losing blood at King’s Mill Hospital and doctors were pumping it back into her as fast as possible, her blood pressure was going up and her heart beat was up to 180 beats per minute at one point,” added Stephanie.
“Before the second operation at QMC, we were told there was a risk of mortality - as a parent I don’t think there are words to describe what you are going through.
“All of a sudden she is fighting for her life, you can’t quite believe it, you’d rather go through it yourself.”
Gaby made it through the operation and is back at school with her friends but is urging more people to give blood in the future.
“The whole thing has been a bit of a blur, it has been very weird and a really big shock,” she said.
“You don’t realise that blood would save your life but it really does, I’m sure people have been far sicket than I have and they’ve had their lives saved by a blood donor.
“If you can give blood then I think you definitely should, you could really save someone’s life.”