One-year-old Jasmine Tanner survived 11 life-saving blood transfusions before she was born.
Jasmine had Rhesus disease and would have died in the womb, as her blood group was incompatible with mum Melanie’s.
From 16 weeks into the pregnancy, donated blood was intricately injected into Jasmine’s umbilical cord every two weeks. She was born by caesarean section at 34 weeks and had to have a further three more transfusions while in intensive care. However, she’s now a healthy toddler.
Jasmine inherited rhesus-positive blood from her dad, while her mum was rhesus-negative. Melanie’s body then produced antibodies that attacked Jasmine’s blood cells.
Normally, Rhesus disease is avoided in pregnancy through a series of Anti-D injections given to mums-to-be. However, when Melanie was pregnant with her second child, Owen, one injection was forgotten.
This caused Melanie to develop antibodies against Owen’s blood cells, so that he was born anaemic and needing a blood transfusion. It also meant that the Anti-D injections would no longer work for future pregnancies.
Melanie is grateful both to the doctors and to the anonymous blood donors. “Without people who generously donate blood we wouldn’t have Jasmine here with us today. We would have missed out on the most beautiful little girl. I will always be in their debt, whoever they are.”