Stourbridge mum thanks lifesaving plasma donors for Plasma Donation Week

A Stourbridge Mum whose illness is treated by plasma medicine has visited the Birmingham Plasma donor centre to thank staff and donors during the first ever Plasma Donation Week.

Amy Millard, aged 44, is supporting the appeal for 1,000 more people to become donors at the centre.
NHS Blood and Transplant has invited people like Amy to its three donor centres to help celebrate the life-saving plasma donors who have come forwards since donation to the NHS restarted in 2021.
Plasma is made into a medicine called immunoglobulin, which strengthens or stabilises the immune system. It’s used to treat more than 50 rare diseases. Last year, 1,066 people from the West Midlands received immunoglobulin.
Amy said immunoglobulin medicine worked ‘been a lifesaver’ after she developed myasthenia gravis, a rare neurological autoimmune disorder, which causes muscle weakness. Her antibodies, part of the immune system, are mistakenly attacking the receptors on her muscle fibres.
Amy was diagnosed in 2004 after experiencing symptoms including weakness in her facial muscles and in her limbs. Her experiences included collapsing while shopping. She said:

“My legs stopped working, I couldn’t stand up and my speech was slurred. It was very scary. People thought I was drunk and no-one came to help.”
Myasthenia can be life threatening if it starts to affect your throat or diaphragm. People can have trouble swallowing food, breathing, and can develop pneumonia. Amy’s condition deteriorated rapidly after a miscarriage in 2015. She added:

“I was choking on food multiple times a day, I couldn’t pronounce words clearly as my speech was slurred, I couldn't hold my head up without support so found myself needing to spend most of time lying down because of the strain it was having on my body to sit upright.”
Amy, who is under the care of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said of her visit to the donor centre: “It’s not easy for me to travel but I want to make the effort to see the staff and donors who help make this lifesaving medicine.
“I want to say to people who are donating plasma - ‘thank you’, and to other people ‘please give it a try, if you can donate - please do! Immunoglobulin has saved my life and transformed my family life. My boys have their mum back".
Birmingham plasma donor centre is in New Street in the city centre. Mark Bailey, Birmingham Plasma Donor Centre Manager, said:

“Our staff and donors feel very proud to actually meet someone whose life has been saved by plasma donation. Every donor makes a huge difference to people like Amy who rely on medicines made from plasma to save and improve their lives.
“Giving plasma is as easy and safe as giving blood and you will be helping to make medicines to treat more than 50 rare diseases.”
You can search ‘donate plasma’ to register now, or visit


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