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Campus Cutie: Rachel Hibbit

Facts about Rachel:

Name: Rachel Hibbit

Degree: 3rd year, Business Studies with Human Resources

Age: 20

Lives: in Warlingham, Surrey

This week we have a different kind of Campus Cutie – meet Rachel, who is sharing her touching story with us in the help it will raise awareness to donate blood. Here is Rachel’s story:

When did you find out about Vinnie?

“I got a phone call at 1am from my brother-in-law and my sister had tried to Facebook my housemate saying, ‘can you wake Rachel up?’ Laura, Vinnie’s mother, was trying to contact the family: “My mum had gone to Jamaica to get married” and Rachel’s Nan had sadly passed away the week before.

“When Laura finally got hold of me, Vinnie (Rachel’s three-year-old nephew) was in theatre in Basildon Hospital to stem the bleeding. He started spitting blood at home and by the time they got to Basildon Hospital he was vomiting blood constantly and we couldn’t stop it.”

What had happened?

“He had his tonsils out 12 days before, and was doing fine – he was due to go back to nursery…he just suddenly started to have a nosebleed… started spitting blood” -“Bless him, he got really frightened”. His parents phoned the out-of-hours doctor, who told them to take Vinnie to the hospital. Rachel’s sister, Laura was 32 weeks pregnant at the time of the incident.  

Vinnie was then taken to the Majors Department in Basildon Hospital, “when they rushed Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists over from Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford”. They had rushed a team from Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, but he wasn’t stable enough to be transported for the operation.

“Before he went into theatre to stop the bleeding, he had to have 1.5 litres of blood transfused into him to get his blood levels back up high enough to be operated on.”

“They were trying to put the blood into him, but he was vomiting it back out – they couldn’t get the blood in fast enough.” “Because he’s so small, the more they lose, the riskier it is.”

“Once stable and out of theatre, he then had a specialist CATS ambulance from Great Ormond Street Hospital, to come and transfer him to Intensive Care for 24hrs while he recovered from surgery.” “He became conscious again, and wanted to go home”.

“After Great Ormond Street Hospital, he was transferred to Broomfield Hospital where he stayed 24hrs and discharged the afternoon of funeral.” “We were thinking, wow that’s brilliant.”

However, after a day at home “he was re-admitted with a sickness bug and had to have his antibiotics and fluids through a drip to keep them in his system”. Vinnie was allowed to go home again two days later.

“But luckily, thanks to the blood transfusion he’s back home now” and has gone back to nursery. “He’s now been home a week and recovering well and has a follow-up appointment next week.”

Have you told you mum yet?

“We tried not to tell her but she knew something was wrong so I told her over phone.”

Did it affect you university work?

“I felt like I was just stuck here (at university)… but I couldn’t go up because you can’t go into Intensive Care.” Rachel was offered an extension on her exam, but determined to sit it with the rest of the class, she took the exam. “I actually got my result back today, and I got 80%.” Rachel added, “What an end to university life.”

So what’s next?

Since then, Rachel has been trying to raise awareness about blood donations. “My sister (Laura) signed up but she can’t give blood until after she’s had the baby.”

Laura: “I didn’t realise how important giving blood was until my son needed a lifesaving blood transfusion. I would encourage everybody to sign up to donate blood and save a life as you never know when you or someone you love may need it. It’s totally free to donate and we’d like to thank everyone who already gives blood and all the nursing, consultant and ambulance staff at Basildon, Broomfield and Great Ormond Street Hospitals for the care our son received”.

Are you donating?

“My mum and her husband are giving blood the same day as me” “It’s one of those things you think about, like “Oh I’ll do that” but you just never get around to doing it.” “Now I’ve got a good cause, I’ve seen it save someone’s life, especially when it’s a child, it’s more sympathetic.” Rachel is donating on 4th April in Warlingham.

Rachel is encouraged by the #nomakeupselfies for Breast Cancer Awareness: “it just shows how powerful social media can be”

Finally, we ask all of our Cuties and Celebs if they have a motto, do you have one?

My Nan used to say “A man who never made a mistake, never made anything.”


Please go to: http://www.blood.co.uk/index.aspx to find your closest blood drive, and donate.

Every donation goes to save someone’s life – it’s free to donate, and you are doing something good.

You can follow Rachel on Twitter; https://twitter.com/RachelHibbs to follow her journey through becoming a first-time blood donor.

I'm a 20 year old self-published author who blogs a lot and drinks far too much tea! Melissa Holden's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaHoldenWriter Melissa Holden's Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Melissa-Holden/e/B00GSL71SE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416236950&sr=8-1
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