A young Southwark man has been thanked by a woman with a cystic fibrosis disorder for saving lives with his regular blood plasma donations.
Simone Simon’s condition means that her lungs regularly fill with mucus, leaving her at risk of infection. She relies on people donating plasma to give her body the antibodies it needs to fight the infections.
Albert Mensah, 24, a final-year medical student from Southwark, has donated blood plasma nineteen times now.
“People like Albert mean the world to me,” Simone said. “It’s really opened my eyes to understand how people are so willing to give up their time and help save my life.”
Albert replied: “It’s so good to see you. That’s so wonderful to hear. Honestly, that is amazing.
“I have always said to friends who ask me why I do this, If I can just do this for an hour max, imagine how much time that will give somebody else.”
During the coronavirus pandemic Simone was hospitalised, after going fourteen weeks without treatment because of her usual hospital where she has transfusions going into lockdown.
Plasma donation takes around an hour. The donor’s blood is gradually run through a machine which separates out the plasma, before returning the blood back into the donor.
Plasma is the liquid that makes up most of your blood.? It carries your antibodies around you to fight pathogens. The antibodies in donated plasma are separated out and concentrated into medicines.
Plasma is being collected at eleven centres around the country, after decades-long restrictions put in place in the wake of the Creutzfeld-Jakob disease outbreak were lifted this year. the NHS is now calling for more than 1,000 donations a week.