Blues x Give Blood: Diana Higman
As will be the case with all summer transfers, Blues marked the arrival of Ashley Hodson in the Second City by raising awareness of Give Blood.
The forward's arrival at the Club, on a season-long loan, was utilised to profile Diana Higman, a 59-year-old from Derby, who had a liver transplant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, and who now works part-time in GP Surgery.
Diana was given 72 hours to live when she fell ill at the end of her first year of nursing training. Originally, the diagnosis was put down to stress after a busy time studying and the loss of a close family member. But soon after, a much more serious diagnosis of hepatitis was recorded and immediately she was sent to Birmingham for a life-saving liver transplant.
Convincing the body to ‘accept’ a new organ is always a challenging task for the medical teams that aid transplant procedures, and for some weeks after the operation, Diana was regularly going backwards and forwards to the Second City to see what could aid progress. After being placed into an induced coma, doctors saw fit to try a blood transfusion as a way to move things along – a decision that Diana told BCFC.com turned out to be the golden ticket.
“I can still remember feeling instantly better as soon as the donated blood went into my body, almost as if it was yesterday. I said to the nurse ‘if you give me another couple of pints of that, I’ll be going home this afternoon!’ It really did the trick.”
And it did work. After enduring many hurdles in helping the body actually stabilise post-transplant, it was the gift of blood that really set Diana on the road to recovery. Since she has been able to live as normal a life as possible and many years on is able to reflect on the generosity of people that donated blood to help people such as herself.
“People that donate blood are heroes. Maybe I wouldn’t have made it through if I hadn’t had the transfusion. In fact, now, my eldest daughter gives blood even though she is needle-phobic. I go with her, but she does it because, in essence, it was what saved my life.”
On the back of winning a host of medals as part of the GB Transplant Team and travelling the world, Diana’s thirst for sport brings her back to Birmingham this summer for a much bigger reason than perhaps the event itself.
“I am volunteering as a driver for the Commonwealth Games because I thought it was a way to give back to the city. There’s no other way to say it really – Birmingham saved my life really and for that, I will always be grateful.”