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Baby's illness stirs 'amazing show of support' from blood donors

Kristen Phillips gives daughter Bailey a kiss as husband Garret and older daughter Leah look on in this Dec. 12 photo. Canadian Blood Services says Bailey, who spent the first 111 days of her life in hospital dependant on blood donations, sparked an outpouring of blood donations.

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Kristen Phillips gives daughter Bailey a kiss as husband Garret and older daughter Leah look on in this Dec. 12 photo. Canadian Blood Services says Bailey, who spent the first 111 days of her life in hospital dependant on blood donations, sparked an outpouring of blood donations. (FILE PHOTO)

It’s a good problem to have.

Blood donor clinics have been jam-packed over the traditionally slow holiday season and Canadian Blood Services is on track to meet its donation goal in Manitoba.

According to Canadian Blood Services, there are less than 20 spots remaining at the Brandon clinic, all of which are on Boxing Day.

Westman’s Bailey Phillips — who spent the first 111 days of her life in hospital dependant on blood donations — sparked an outpouring of blood donations, said spokesperson Adrienne Silver. Canadian Blood Services has until the beginning of January to receive roughly another 1,800 donations across the province to meet its holiday goal.

Roughly 1,700 donations come in on any given week.

"Right now, it is busy. People are very, very moved by Bailey’s story," Silver said. "There were businesses as well that really wanted to get involved and large group donations were booked."

When Bailey was in the womb, her mother Kristen contracted a virus called cytomegalovirus. CMV is a common and usually symptomless illness, but it can cause serious health problems in babies infected before birth: congenital cytomegalovirus.

As a result, the baby has needed blood transfusions every three days and will continue to need them for the forseeable future.

"We’re seeing an amazing show of support," Silver said.

Reports from the Brandon clinic suggest some wait times were more than two hours, even with an appointment.

"Especially if folks want to walk up, they may not have space in the clinic, so we always recommend they book an appointment because we need to know how many are coming and we only have so many hours that we’re available and so many staff," Silver said.

She urges people to look ahead after the holidays to make an appointment when there are lots of openings and to look to surrounding areas for times as well. For instance, the Souris clinic still has more than 20 appointments available today.

"They’re still going to be making a huge difference in someone’s life if they give next week, or the week after," Silver said.

"The need for blood is constant."

» gbruce@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 23, 2013

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It’s a good problem to have.

Blood donor clinics have been jam-packed over the traditionally slow holiday season and Canadian Blood Services is on track to meet its donation goal in Manitoba.

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It’s a good problem to have.

Blood donor clinics have been jam-packed over the traditionally slow holiday season and Canadian Blood Services is on track to meet its donation goal in Manitoba.

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