(Left to right) Dr. Michael Ertel, vice president of medicine and quality at Interior Health; Gale Voyer, territory manager for Canadian Blood Services; Isabella Perini and her father Dr. Rafael Perini at the launch event for September is Health Care Month on Thursday Aug. 29. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)

Okanagan teen saved by blood transfusion shares story, encourages donors

Isabella Perini, 16, survived a medical emergency last year thanks to blood transfusion

Isabella Perini, a 16-year-old Kelowna resident, has first-hand experience with how donated blood can save lives.

Last year, she was scheduled for a routine tonsillectomy. The potential complications were mentioned, but Perini didn’t see them as something to dwell on.

A few days after the operation, she began bleeding severely.

“I had a bucket in my lap and by the time we got to the hospital, it was full of blood,” she recalled of her trip to the emergency room at Kelowna General Hospital.

She had lost about half of the blood in her body. She was in shock. She doesn’t remember much.

“At one point I couldn’t see anymore—everything went black—because there wasn’t enough blood going to my brain.”

Perini recieved two bags of blood, which were donated from within the community. She went back into surgery that night and woke up in the ICU the next morning.

Perini shares this story now to encourage others to donate blood—something she’s not yet old enough to do so herself.

“Without this blood, there are so many lives that could be lost,” she said. “I’m so thankful for all of the blood that was donated.”

READ MORE: Rutland Middle School still struggling with old facilities

READ MORE: The price of a loft in Kelowna can get you an acre, lakefront mansion in Quebec

On Thursday, Aug. 29, Perini shared her experiences in the lobby of the same hospital she was rushed to one year prior as part of an initiative by Canadian Blood Services (CBS) and Interior Health to engage potential blood donors in Kelowna called September is Health Care Month.

The donor recruitment drive is specifically aiming to inspire health-care workers—who often see the need for blood first hand—to become new donors.

CBS said over 100,000 new blood donors are needed in Canada this year to maintain the national blood supply and meet the needs of those who require transfusions.

Among those who rely on blood donations are cancer patients, accident victims and people with blood disorders.

Perini said nobody realizes just how frequent blood transfusion can be.

“A lot of my friends didn’t even know that I recieved blood,” she said. “There are so many people (in your life) that you might not know have recieved blood in the past or may need blood in the future.”

Her sentiment checks out when you look at the stats, too.

According to CBS, one in two Canadians will either need blood themselves or know somebody who will.

Perini’s father, a physician who works at KGH, gives blood regularly. Perini also wants to be a doctor someday.

When she turns 17, the legal age to become a blood donor in Canada, Perini plans to begin donating her own blood.

You can find out more about how to become a donor at blood.ca.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Home loss ends season for Sicamous Eagles

A defeat at the hands of the 100 Mile House Wranglers on Feb. 22 was the Eagles’ last outing.

PHOTOS: PeeWee Silverbacks finish season with 22 game win streak

The team has gone undefeated since November last year

Word on the street: What is your favourite pie-related memory?

With the 24th-annual Best of the Shuswap Pie Baking Contest taking place… Continue reading

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read