Austin and Jaxson will celebrate their first birthday on Sunday.

Red Deer mother organizing blood drive in honour of her twins

After requiring 19 blood transfusions during her pregnancy, Katrina Hatch gave birth to premature twins who also needed multiple transfusions.

After requiring 19 blood transfusions during her pregnancy, Katrina Hatch gave birth to premature twins who also needed multiple transfusions.

Hatch, 33, of Red Deer, has been staying at Ronald McDonald House in Calgary over the last year. She said the need for blood donors is clear.

“It just breaks my heart that not enough people do it,” Hatch said from Calgary on Tuesday.

“Meeting all the beautiful families and the kids, and what they’ve gone through needing bone marrow, platelets, stem cells — things that are easy for us to donate and it means their lives.”

That’s why she organized a two-week blood drive through Canadian Blood Services that runs until July 5 in honour of her twins Jaxson and Austin, who will celebrate their first birthday on Sunday.

“To sit down and donate blood, it takes seven minutes. That’s all it takes to save a child’s life.”

When Hatch was 17 weeks pregnant, she was hospitalized for two months due to bleeding caused by placenta previa. The twins were born at 26 weeks, weighing 816.47 and 907.18 grams (1.8 and two pounds). Both have had numerous life-threatening complications.

“I’ve had to say goodbye to them several times,” Hatch said.

Jaxson required one surgery and was finally discharged from the hospital a few weeks ago. He’s still on oxygen.

Austin was in ICU for the first 10 months of his life and still can’t leave Alberta Children’s Hospital. He’s had two surgeries, including heart surgery. He must have two more surgeries, with another two likely. A palliative team, for possible end of life care, is now in charge of his care.

“We’re going to be here a lot longer than anticipated. His lungs are very weak. He’s never been fed through his stomach. There’s a lot of work to be done for poor Austin.”

Hatch and her seven-year-old son Kayden are staying at Calgary’s Ronald McDonald House with Jaxson to stay close to Austin.

Her oldest son, Keegan, 15, is living with family friends in Red Deer.

Hatch said the twins have a special bond.

“They met when they were a few months old and ever since, they hold hands and they smile.”

She said through her nightmare, organizations like Ronald McDonald House and Canadian Blood Services have been her saving grace.

People can donate blood in honour of Jaxson and Austin at any Canadian Blood Services clinic by asking for an in-honour card, filling in the twins names and asking it be sent to Calgary.

Hatch will be volunteering at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine mobile blood clinic at the HRIC Atrium in Calgary on Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and has called on friends and family to donate. Appointments are preferred by calling 1-888-236-6283.

Lisa Castro, Canadian Blood Services spokesperson, said an urgent appeal for blood donors went out last week across Canada.

“Our appointments are the lowest they’ve been within the last five years so our inventories are very low,” Castro said.

The collection target, based on hospital demand, is 199,115 units of blood and the country is sitting at 186,050.

“What we’re trying to do is inspire more families and loved ones who know recipients to step up and give back to continue to make sure that we’re able to provide the blood products to patients when they need them.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Manslaughter charge laid against Red Deer man more than a year after homicide

A manslaughter charge has been laid against a Red Deer man, more… Continue reading

Woman facing charges after pedestrian critically injured in hit and run

A woman is in custody in connection with an alleged hit and… Continue reading

Friday hail storm came at a bad time for farmers

Amount of damage a hail storm does often depends on how far along crops are

Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game 8-6 in 10 innings

American League 8 National League 6 (1o innings) WASHINGTON — A record… Continue reading

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Man suffers critical injuries, Red Deer police arrest woman in pedestrian crash

A man is in hospital with critical injuries and Mounties have arrested… Continue reading

Cull hasn’t been able to solve bunny burden in Alberta mountain town of Canmore

CANMORE, Alta. — Problems persist in an Alberta mountain town overrun with… Continue reading

Canada should help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany: civil liberties group

OTTAWA — A civil liberties group is urging the Canadian government to… Continue reading

Westerner Days: Send us your photos

Your reader photo may just make the pages of the Adovcate.

Adam Henrique signs $29.1M, 5-year extension with Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Centre Adam Henrique has signed a $29.1 million, five-year… Continue reading

Fashion firms upend design routine to focus on speed, trends

NEW YORK — Prototypes? Passe. Fashion company Betabrand saw that knitwear was… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month