Thankful mum gives blood to help others
New mum Melanie Turner lost more than half her blood after giving birth to her daughter Holly.
She was completely unaware she had suffered a catastrophic haemorrhage as she held the infant and it wasn't until her midwife leaned over and hit the hospital panic button that she realised something was seriously wrong.
"All of a sudden my room was flooded with people.
"My midwife took Holly and I was rushed to surgery."
Turner says she wouldn't be alive if people hadn't taken time out of their day to donate blood.
Now, two years later, she knows how vital donations to the blood bank are and is a regular donor on a mission to encourage others to do the same.
Turner suffered a postpartum haemorrhage - a one in 60,000 case termed as a catastrophic haemorrhage.
She lost four of her seven units of blood, she says.
"The minute I could I starting donating blood. It literally takes 15 minutes and they make it as easy as possible.
"Unless you have had a blood donation you don't get it. It's really important to me that I try and get other people to donate blood.
"One unit of blood can save three lives."
Turner says donating blood doesn't cost money and it's something most people can do.
Saturday is World Blood Donor Day.
Almost 12,000 units of blood and blood products were used by mums and newborn babies across New Zealand in 2013.
And this year the New Zealand Blood Service is asking all Kiwis to 'get social' and pledge their support on the New Zealand Blood Service Facebook Page.
Every year the blood service loses up to 28,000 donors because of retirement, ill health or personal choice.
The service operates on a 'right donor, right product, right place, right time' basis to ensure that every drop counts.
That means that some donors may donate less often, or more frequently, than others depending on their blood type and location.
Call 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) to find out where, when and how to donate.
North Shore Times