Labrador toddler's family pays it forward at blood clinic

A special blood donor clinic was held in St. John's Wednesday to recognize a toddler from Labrador City who has a serious heart condition.

Peyton Hill, 1, saved by blood donations, family says

These donors rolled up their sleeves at Canadian Blood Services in St. John's on Wednesday. (CBC)

A special blood donor clinic was held in St. John's Wednesday in honour of a toddler from Labrador City who suffers from a serious heart condition.

Krista Spearns, who organized the clinic, said Peyton Hill is one of many children in Newfoundland and Labrador who regularly needs operations — and blood.

"It takes five donors for one open heart surgery for one tiny child," Spearns told CBC.

"So it puts in perspective for just our heart support group, of 50-odd families, how many we needed, and that was just 50-odd children in our group."

Thanks in part to blood donations that Peyton received, she is recovering from open heart surgery she underwent at four-and-a-half months.

The Hill family took part in the clinic in support of their daughter, and to show appreciation to donors and parents of children with heart problems.

“We know how important the blood Peyton received was for her recovery,” said Nikki Hill, Peyton’s mother.
Wednesday's special blood donor clinic in St. John's was held in honour of one-year-old Peyton Hill of Labrador City. (CBC)

“Complete strangers helped our daughter through some of the most difficult times in her life, [and] we want to make sure other families have what they need too.”

Hill said while her daughter was undergoing surgery, she found a support group online for parents of children with heart problems.

The group was started by Spearns as a way to bring those parents together.

"Until you meet someone or know someone, it kind of clicks in ... now I wish we did something sooner," said Hill. 

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