Within the same month, Máirín Geddis turned 30 years old, gave birth and was diagnosed with cancer.
“It just felt like a lot of life happened at once – it’s a lot of things to happen at the same time.”
Máirín received a number of blood transfusions after chemotherapy to enable her to have the strength to go home and see her family again.
“I’ve given blood since I was 20, but I never thought too much about who might use it. I assumed it was somebody who had a car accident or someone having surgery.
“So to then be the person with cancer who needed it, it really opened my eyes.”
As well as for procedures such as emergency surgery, blood transfusions are used after mothers give birth and patients’ post-cancer treatment.
The NI Blood Transfusion service (NIBTS) has said that as lockdown eases the demand for blood from hospitals has increased rapidly.
NIBTS is reminding the public that travelling to give blood is classed as essential travel. Details on donating blood can be found on nibts.org.
Video journalist: Niall McCracken