Make it a cracker Christmas for someone like Joshua

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THIS week sees the launch by the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) of their Christmas appeal for blood donors.

This year the theme is, “Make it a cracker Christmas for someone you don’t know”.

Someone just like Joshua O’Neill from Belfast who, when only eighteen days old was diagnosed with a rare, life threating condition requiring emergency surgery, numerous operations and blood transfusions.

It took a long time for him to recover but now Joshua is a happy seven-year-old and very much looking forward to Christmas. His parents, Deirdre and Shane, are very grateful to all those people who did not know Joshua but gave blood and saved his life.

Giving blood is important at any time of the year but it is especially vital in the run up to Christmas when maintaining stocks can be very difficult.

During December over two thousand patients will need to receive blood or blood products. The NIBTS is appealing for the public In Northern Ireland to attend one of the many blood donation sessions held during December.

Paul McElkerney a spokesperson for the Service said, “If you have ever thought of donating blood and saving someone’s life now would be a great time to start”.

Aged between 17 and 65, you should be able to donate for the first time. For any other information you can call 0500 534 666, visit or to enrol text the word blood to 60081.