Meet Katie (above), one of our awesome supporters! Katie has been has registered as a blood and bone marrow donor since finding out about the Little Yellow Duck Project in 2014.
Katie also told her Mum, Jenny, all about the project and Jenny became a big supporter of ours too, kindly making ducks to help spread the message of the life-saving gifts that donors can give. Just a few weeks ago, Jenny found herself in need of multiple life-saving blood transfusions and today Katie has sent across a very personal message of thanks to all of our thousands of duck-makers across the world…
This is a message to all of you wonderful maker of ducks about one of your own, my mum, Jenny. This is also a message to all of you awesome finders of ducks who read the tag, went to the website and took up the challenge to become a donor.
Mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer shortly before Christmas 2015. We were relatively lucky, it was operable. Her tumour blocked the bile duct from her liver giving her a striking yellow hue, so we had that Christmas with our very own Minion! Wait, I should have said our very own Little Yellow Duck. Yes, that’s better!!!
They did whatever they did to temporarily unblock the duct, return her to flesh coloured and allow her liver to recover some before the ‘big’ op. She had the big op about 2 weeks ago. In a bid to win a prize for the fastest weight reduction programme they removed:
- The tumour (hurrah!)
- Some lymph nodes
- Her Gall Bladder
- Half of her Pancreas
- Most of the bile duct
- Her duodenum – had to google that one, it’s part of the small intestine
The surgery took a time-warping 9 hours due, in part, to the discovery of a “never-before-seen” arrangement of blood vessels – but then we always knew she as special!!! Her recovery was remarkable – she was on her feet the next day! She also dealt with 2 infections and a leak in her new internal plumbing with remarkable resilience. She was nearly home.
Then, Day 12 post-op and, thankfully, just before discharge, she had a massive internal bleed. This is where you, the army of little yellow duckers, come in and thank goodness for you ALL. In a 6 hour op, she had her entire blood volume replaced – as well as, to continue the weight loss plan, the rest of her pancreas and her spleen removed. Things were very dicey and we are still most definitely in the woods. BUT, the day after surgery she was awake and talking. She has been sleepy since but we had that day with her. That is a whole day we would not have had without blood donation, without the ducks.
We hope for more but in the midst of the trauma of illness, having one day should not be underestimated, it is everything.
Internally, she is literally half the woman she was, in spirit, however, she is indomitable. Please take a moment to hear our heart-felt thanks and then … get ducking!!!!!!!!!
Everyone at the LYD Project is keeping Jenny close in their thoughts and sending her their love and positive wishes. Stories like these are daily reminders that every single blood donor really is a life-saver. Thank you to each and every one of them and also to all our wonderful volunteers to keep encouraging people to think about the part they can play in saving the lives of others.