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.”

Just Posted

Experts offer tips about how to prevent online ad spoilers during the holidays

Looking to prevent your Christmas surprises from being spoiled by online ads… Continue reading

Fast-expanding seafood giant joins Irvings, McCains as N.B. business royalty

FREDERICTON — For the Irvings, it was Bouctouche. For the McCains, Florenceville.… Continue reading

Washington state combats collisions with new wildlife bridge

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. — Before descending the Cascade Mountains on its final… Continue reading

China says it has no information on detained ex-Canadian diplomat

BEIJING — China’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that it had no information… Continue reading

Coach Hunter wants up-tempo Team Canada as world junior squad hits ice

COLWOOD, B.C. — Team Canada coach Tim Hunter says the team that… Continue reading

Study finds female-led films outperform male ones

NEW YORK — A study organized by Time’s Up, the organization formed… Continue reading

Price Is Right contestant wins winter trip to Winnipeg, Churchill

WINNIPEG — Who wants to visit Winnipeg in the dead of winter?… Continue reading

CBC Gem streaming service to launch exclusive content, partners with Wattpad

TORONTO — The CBC has launched a new streaming service featuring live… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Online ads spoil Christmas surprises, raising privacy concerns: experts

Lisa Clyburn knew she had found the perfect gift for her nine-year-old… Continue reading

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

TORONTO — Canada Soccer has named striker Jordyn Huitema and defender Derek… Continue reading

Most Read