Give blood to help Archie from Methwold and other children who need the greatest gift this Christmas

Archie Ramshaw, who needs regular transfusions. Picture: Submitted.

Archie Ramshaw, who needs regular transfusions. Picture: Submitted. - Credit: Archant

Archie Ramshaw may be only 11 years old, but a rare blood disorder means that he has already had more blood transfusions than most people will need in their lifetime.

If you give blood, you might even be one of those who's helped to save his life.

Archie, from Methwold, has an extremely rare form of anaemia, called Congenital Sideroblastic Anaemia.

The condition means that his bone marrow is unable to produce healthy blood cells and stops Archie´s body transferring the iron in his blood into haemoglobin, which red cells need to transport oxygen efficiently.

Archie needs to have blood transfusions of healthy red cells every two weeks.

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Craig Ramshaw, Archie's dad, said: 'The whole blood transfusion process can take a full day. Firstly, Archie will have a meeting with the paediatric consultant and then he needs to be cross-matched to ensure that he receives the correct blood type.

'Once the results are in, and this can take a few hours, Archie will go on to have his transfusion which usually lasts around four hours.'

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Mr Ramshaw said that Archie, a pupil at the Iceni Academy, Methwold, showed symptoms of his anaemia a few years before he was diagnosed in October 2010.

'He was lethargic as a baby,' said Mr Ramshaw. 'We went backwards and forwards many times until he was diagnosed. But he copes incredibly well and this is normal life for him now.'

Before his son's diagnosis, Mr Ramshaw, like many others never got round to giving blood.

Now he regularly makes donations and knows first-hand of the importance.

He said: 'It can change a person's life. Archie has already had 200 units of blood. Through Archie, my wife and I have become champions for blood donation. Archie´s quality of life depends on the blood that he receives and he is being kept alive by the generous act of giving blood.'

Archie has his own website to tell others of his journey, click here to visit.

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